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Now The Taps are Dry: Poetry, Environmentalism and Water Conservation

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My Inspiration for Conservation: A Water Crisis and Wangari Maathai

I must start off with a confession, I never used to pay much attention to environmental conservation. I would listen to people talk about the importance of planting trees and saving forests and I would never do anything about it. The last time I planted a tree was in high school as part of the Green Belt Movement activities at our school. Well recently the importance of environmental and water conservation was driven home to me in a very personal and sobering way. For the first time in a very long time I woke up to dry taps. Now anyone who has lived through a water shortage crisis knows that this is a rather unpleasant experience, especially for those of us who take water for granted. I thought this was just a temporary problem but now two weeks down the line and many news briefs later it has hit me that we are having a serious water crisis in my country. This water crisis has been a long time in the making and is largely a result of deforestation. Now we are finally reaping the bitter fruit of our careless ways and I am not sure when we are going to get out of this mess. I hope the taps will start flowing again soon but in reality I doubt it. In the meantime we are living with water rationing schedules and for the first time many of us are having to take steps to conserve water. Furthermore, our citizens most of whom are poor are now faced with a situation where they are forced to buy water for their basic needs and for some of them it is literally a choice between buying water and other necessities like food. The purchase of water from dubious sources leads to all sorts of attendant problems such as contaminated water been sold and causing cholera outbreaks like the one we have recently witnessed. Aside from leading to drought and water shortages, deforestation is also a leading cause of global warming. It is unfortunate that a large segment of people do not realize the dangers we face from environmental degradation as a result of our destructive activities. Perhaps, because they are for the time being cushioned from the negative consequences of their activities. In the meantime poor developing nations and poor people continue to suffer most from the effects of enviromental destruction. It is my hope that the upcoming United Nations Climate Change Conference will come up with concrete measures to address the negative effects of climate change. But more so it is my hope that each of us will begin to take action to preserve the environment both for ourselves and future generations.The following environment poem was inspired by the sadness I feel over the current water crisis and drought in my country. The "She" alluded to in this poem is Nobel Laureate Wangari Maathai, a native of my country who was persecuted for warning Kenyans over the very situation that we are now facing. As they say, "A prophet is always reviled in (her) homeland." (Wangari Maathai passed away on September 25th, 2011 from ovarian cancer).

Image Courtesy: http://pdphoto.org/PictureDetail.php?mat=&pg=8097

Image Courtesy: http://pdphoto.org/PictureDetail.php?mat=&pg=8097

Image Courtesy of: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Brass_water_tap.jpg

Image Courtesy of: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Brass_water_tap.jpg

Now The Taps Are Dry: Environment Poem by Injete Chesoni

She told us to plant trees
and we paid her no heed
And now the taps are dry.

They released
a water rationing schedule today,
a water conservation measure
they say,
Because the taps are dry.

We should have rationed our greed
and paid her heed,
when she told us not to cut down forest trees,
but we did not see the wisdom of her pleas,
And now the taps are dry.

We thought that the price of food was high
Until we had to choose what to buy,
Food or the liquid of life?
Yesterday, I had to explain to my daughter,
that the choice was between food and water,
Now that our taps are dry.

Who would have thought
That the day would come,
When we would stand under God’s glorious sun,
And buy water by the gallon.
We cannot say that we did not see it coming,
Because she gave us ample warning,
That soon the day would be dawning,
When we would wake up one morning,
And find that our taps were dry.

So now we are taking conservation measures,
A little too late
We are reclaiming our treasures,
That were squandered and plundered
To suit the whims of a few.
We lacked forethought,
And we should have fought,
Just as she taught,
To protect the liquid of life.
We should have been as far-sighted as she,
Who told us not to cut down trees,
Then perhaps today we would not be crying
Over the fact that our taps are drying.

Environment Poem by Injete Chesoni: Image Courtesy of: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Brass_water_tap.jpg


Water Conservation Tips: Five Easy Ways To Conserve Water

1. Do not leave taps running.

2. Fix Dripping Taps.

3. Turn off the garden hose when you are not using it.

4. Take 5-Minute Showers.

5. Educate others on water conservation measures.


Links To Water Conservation Websites:

100 Ways to Conserve Water

Wikipedia Water Conservation Link


Image Courtesy of: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Water_drop_001.jpg

Image Courtesy of: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Water_drop_001.jpg

Comments

Jinky on December 29, 2014:

Dear Freda:Thanks for the encouragement.As you noetcid that I am very lucky to have such a committed team.We need to educate our children to live a life of curious simplicity.Being a water warrior is a more empowered mental reframing.Be happy, my old pal.Ping

Piyush on June 05, 2012:

I liked it very much & suggest it to everyone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Akshay on June 01, 2012:

very nice poem....

Emee on May 28, 2012:

very inspiring and enlightening..we all better start conserving water before it's too late...splendid poem by the way:)

atharv on November 11, 2011:

very nice

ayushee on April 20, 2011:

awesome .............!!!!!!!

angel on February 02, 2011:

very goog

Moyra (author) on October 11, 2010:

Hi Omar thanks glad you enjoyed it.

omar on October 10, 2010:

This Was soooooooooooooooooooooo cool

Moyra (author) on October 04, 2010:

Hi Kev. Good hearing from you. Thanks for the insightful comment as always. Best regards. Moyra

Kevin Schofield on October 02, 2010:

Hi Mo. Great hub! As you point out, we only seem to realise the priceless value of water when it ceases to be readily "on tap". We have such an arrogant attitude to the life-sustaining biosphere around us, and casually treat it as a disposable commodity; a mind-set that verges on insanity. Thanks for raising your poetic voice on this issue. Great writing, as usual! Kindest regards, Kev.

Moyra (author) on June 23, 2010:

Hi Rod, thanks for the insightful comment. Drinking sufficient water is one of the most basic health (and beauty :-) requirements that most of us ignore.

Rod Marsden from Wollongong, NSW, Australia on June 08, 2010:

Nice poem. Great message. Deserts throughout the world are growing. Drinking water is definitely becoming more precious. I have tackled the issue of how precious water is in a hub I wrote called A glass of Water. Having water to drink is pretty fundamental. Healthy water without pollutants or germs is of course preferred. I agree with you that drinking water is a good measuring stick when it comes to measuring the environment and what we are doing to it. What's more it is a measuring stick anyone anywhere can use.

Moyra (author) on March 03, 2010:

Hi Muskaan thanks for the comment and glad you enjoyed the poem. I hope others are following your example of conserving water :-) If more of us do it perhaps we can minimize the water problems many of us are facing.

Muskaan on March 03, 2010:

Great poem and great message...i do conserve water!

good job Moyra!...keep it up

Moyra (author) on October 24, 2009:

Hi Philip it sure is frightening especially when you are actually faced with the consequences like water rationing and in our case due to poor planning power shortages as well since we were dependent mostly on hydro generated power. I heard just the other day that Venezuela is also experiencing water shortages and India I believe also had problems this year. I don't think it is just coincidence that numerous countries have experienced drought and water shortages this year. I do believe we are experiencing the impact of environmental degradation globally.

philip carey 61 on October 24, 2009:

This is frightening stuff. Nevermind oil, water is the very basis of life. Sobering.

Moyra (author) on October 19, 2009:

Hi 2uesday thanks for the comment. The water situation has improved in terms of the home supply. However, after suffering the consequences of a drought we are now facing the prospect of flooding brought about by El Nino. We need to stop interfering with nature to our own detriment and learn to plan and prepare for natural consequences that we are unable to prevent.

2uesday on October 19, 2009:

A thought provoking hub,it made me think that the things I/we tend to take for granted are often the things we need the most. I hope things will improve with the water supply soon. It always makes me sad to think how in the past we have wasted resources that will be needed by future generations.

Moyra (author) on July 26, 2009:

Hi hilltrekker thanks for the encouraging comments, and I am glad you liked the hub. I do hope the poem and hub encourage people to think and act on conservation before it is too late.

hilltrekker on July 26, 2009:

Please keep writing and igniting the minds to save nature and natural resources.

hilltrekker on July 26, 2009:

A great hub indeed. Everyone must think of environment otherwise we will be nowhere.

Let us preserve heaven on earth.

http://www.boddunan.com/home/51-General%20Referenc...

Moyra (author) on July 25, 2009:

Hi midnightbliss thanks for the comment, environmental and water conservation is an important message which many of us realize too late. Hopefully it is still possible to salvage the situation in Kenya, but we must take action now.

Haydee Anderson from Hermosa Beach on July 24, 2009:

nice lens with a great message.

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