Wednesday, November 23, 2011
Water, water, every where...
Well we have water now. It's just not fit for consumption. The water coming out of the tap is brown, and yesterday the Ministry of health recommended boiling and straining it.
Panama went through a similar water crisis last year and at the time, the government made a big show of taking measures to solve the problem. Positions were created and a lot of money was thrown around. So it's frustrating to be in the same situation this year.
Because of the canal, Panama has a lot of money. The city's skyline is impressive and the president likes to tell foreign dignitaries that Panama is the Dubai of Latin America. But the ineptitude of the public officials in charge of critical services like health, education and water is astonishing.
I am a believer in tap water. I was so happy four years ago when we arrived in Panama, and I learned that the tap water was safe, and that bottled water wasn't even that common. I've argued with my husband about getting a home filtration system. My feeling has been that if everyone drinks tap water, the quality will have to be maintained. It is our civic duty to insist on quality water for everyone. But I am wavering. This latest crisis, and the fact that the government is looking to loosen regulation on groundwater contamination, have me less certain. I have misgivings, but maybe it is time we get a filtration system.