Last week while flipping channels on a very hot afternoon we came across a program on BBC called Hot Cities. Last week's program was on Bangladesh and the rising number of climate migrants flowing into already crowded urban areas, thus decreasing the quality of life for everyone. They promoted the next week's city- our capital city. You don't want your capital city to turn up on the BBC, nothing good can come of it. Well we happened to catch a portion of it again this week. It was fun to hear the professionals being interviewed because we could understand them without the subtitles at the bottom. They were only echoing things we had been percieving in our city also. The rains maybe starting later but they are also coming at odd times throughout the year. And the tide is getting higher and things that were once percieved to be safe and high enough, aren't anymore. All of this just spells disaster on the health front. Dengue Fever (here called Blood Fever) and Malaria are occurring at times in the year that never used to be possible and at elevations that used to be safe. All very discouraging news.
Last month they started lifting another road about 6 blocks down from us. They are raising the road in front of the church we attend and the pharmacy we go to, a meter. That's 3 feet. The parking lot to our church has a 3 foot wall bordering the street. The church will be 3 feet below the road 12 feet away. I stopped in at the Pharmacy yesterday. All they can do is given a weak smile and sigh. They have no idea what they are going to do.
We've been hearing rumors since the close of last rainy season that there was a plan in the works to raise roads and install new pumps and deepen the canals. They've only really just started on some portions of the plan. We live 2 blocks from a major Artery Road that loops around the city and they've already raised that road on the other side and there looks to be a deepened canal and pump. I have no idea where the water that will be pumped will go as the neighborhoods are still lower. This week we got a for sure verification that the main street 2 blocks from us that is our connection to town, will be raised in the next month. They are planning to raise it a meter, 3 feet.
The last few months as we have seen these projects begin we've had a little sense of anxiety creep into the back of our minds. Our contract on the house we are in runs through Jan 2011 and we have every intention and desire to stay in this house. We love our landlord. We have a terrific house and yard at the world's most ideal price. We have neighbors and friends. But the house in our neighborhood don't sell, they barely get renters. Everyone knows it floods but the question is how much deeper will the water be when the raise these main roads. No one believes the pump installations will help. They can pump whereever they want but it doesn't change the fact that the lowest guy will still get water when the canals they are pumping into are filled.
So we have been sighing a fair bit lately. We know there is a limit to the amount of time we will stay in this house. The demands of Jonathan's job location will inevitably pull us away. But the thought of having water come into this house that we've made into our home... its happened to our friends and watching their sorrow was impossible. Sigh... and we're powerless against it.
But we find ourselves waiting for rainy season, if only to confirm or but to rest our concerns. Either way, we'll ride it out. We're still in a good position to help and encourage our neighbors. But sitting in this crazy heat makes me wonder what's to come...