Water is Basic creates jobs in South Sudan too
Those with a mind towards business ask the same question after visiting a newly opened borehole, “There must be a business here in delivering water to people?”
The question comes after realizing that a borehole, while giving clean water, doesn’t necessarily change the distance one has to travel to get that water. While walking a mile or two in the heat carrying a 42lb jerry can is hard work no matter what kind of water is inside the can, carrying clean water that won’t make you sick is even better.
But what if you don’t want to carry water or don’t have the time?
Meet Paul and Barabbas, two men recently arrived from Congo. We ran across them while visiting a well we completed at Christmas time to relieve some of the burden of this growing city. Both Paul and Barabbas, age 42 and 32 respectively, have attached wooden poles to their bikes to strengthen them. Why, because they deliver water on their bikes.
Three times per day they load their bikes with 10 jerry cans (that’s 420 pounds of water) and deliver each can for a fee of 1ssp/can. They work seven days a week, sun up to sun down, for a total of 210ssp/week or basically $52.00/week.
I’m in reasonably good shape but I am pretty sure I would have a hard time keeping a bike standing up with that kind of weight and they are pushing these bikes miles a day. While $52.00/week sounds like some pretty poor earnings for that kind of hard labor, I remind you that at $7.40/day they are for ahead of the 50% of the worlds population that live on less than $2.00/day.
Oh, and lest you wonder what they are working for, these two men plan to return to Congo with enough money saved to start a business.
Again, I say look for the rise of the African continent.
Sun, February 3, 2013
by Steve Roese