Gathering the straws of life together

What about water?

What about water?

Have you ever heard someone say, “what about water”? You may be going on a picnic, a long drive or even going fishing. If so, you will need to take water with you! Yesterday we were told we would have no water for the day! This was due to repairs on the main water line. In urban Australia we take water for granted. We turn on the tap and water comes out. We do not think much about it. The only time it gets our attention is when there is no water

The news we had no water for the day got us up early! We showered, had breakfast, ready for the day and we still had water. It went off 30 minutes later than we expected. We could have managed all day at home without running water, but we decided to go for a drive in the country and have lunch. By the time we got home, early afternoon, the water was on again. So, what about water?

Water is essential for our health. We need to keep hydrated, so we must drink water.  Water helps regulate our temperature and it keeps our body functioning. Water aids in digestion and helps our body remove waste. But we need clean drinking water. Drinking contaminated water causes disease and death. Each year millions of people die because of contaminated water. What am I doing about it – not much! I have become too complacent living in a city, a country, that gives me clean water.

One in nine people in the world don’t have clean water close to home. There are 844,000 million people who don’t have clean water. Read more here.

Enjoying a day by the water, fishing!

The topic “what about water” was no more clear than in the recent Thai cave rescue. Water had flooded the cave and 12 boys, and their soccer coach were trapped. For nine days they remained in the cave waiting to be found. They survived by drinking water dripping from stalactites. Without this they would have perished. The water flooding into the cave was contaminated and not suitable for drinking.

The Thai cave rescue is an amazing story that captivated our lives for several week. For months and years to come there will be remarkable stories about the children, their coach and the team of people who were responsible for the rescue mission. One story is about Adul Sam-on, a 14 years old boy and the only one out of the group who could speak English to the British diver who found them. Adul is from the Wa region, an unrecognised state in Myanamar. The region is known for drug trafficking and guerrilla warfare. Adul’s parents wanting a good life for him dropped him off at a Thai Baptist church when he was 6 years old asking the pastor and his wife to care for him. Adul is an excellent student and speaks five languages: English, Thai, Burmese, Mandarin and Wa. Since the rescue I hear that Adul is now sponsored through the organisation Compassion, a Christian charity.  

Incredibly, after the last four boys and the coach had been rescued from the cave the pump that took water out of the cave broke down. By noon that day the cave was completely flooded. The timing of what happened is nothing short of a miracle. If the authorities decided it was too risky for a rescue the entire group trapped in the cave would have perished.

People perished in the Toowoomba January 2011 flash flood – referred to as an inland Tsunami.

No wonder so many people are rejoicing now that the boys and their coach are safe, they are well physically and emotionally and out of hospital. Further, out of this extraordinary story the three boys, including, Adul who are stateless can now look forward to becoming Thai nationals. The event has also bought attention to the stateless condition of hundreds of thousands of people living in Thailand.

So, what about water? Without water Adul, his mates and soccer coach would have died. Ironically, it was water that almost caused their death and it was water that kept them alive.

We are sure to hear much more about Adul and the Wild Boar soccer team and it all happened because of water!



1 thought on “What about water?”

  • Roger that – after traveling in the outback for six weeks, the second priority after making sure your fuel tank is full is the quest for potable water. Not always easy, for example the town of Ravenshoe on the Atherton Tablelands is currently asking people to boil the water before drinking. Excellent read.

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