Poor rural people are the most vulnerable to the effects of climate change in Central America. On Ometepe Island, we live on ecologically fragile land and the locals depend on agriculture, livestock, and fishing to make a living.
An increased frequency of uncommon weather patterns has had a wide impact in Nicaragua. This year, for instance, we had an uncommonly dry rainy season. Drought has ravaged farmers, prompting a spike in food prices, as well as water rationing throughout our regional water supply area.
We usually have running water every other day for half a day. This morning, the water pressure was strong enough to fill my washing machine and run a load of clothes (for the first time in two weeks), but I had to start the washing machine at 5:30 am. It’s a good thing I’m an early riser, because at 9:00 am the water stopped.
Although we have no control over the climatic changes, we do have control over the water supply in our house. Marvin to our rescue! He’s constructing a six meter water tower in our back yard, with a maximum capacity pressurized water tank at the top. That way, even when we don’t have electricity, we’ll have water running throughout our house.
Once the tower is complete, we are going to run a water line to our neighbor’s house, too. I can’t imagine living with three small children under the age of four without access to water. These pictures represent a big change in the making for us. By next week, we should have a steady supply of water for two families.