How to make a water crisis

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How to make a water crisis
How to make a water crisis

Africa-Press – Lesotho. Any lingering doubt that we are a broken country was put to rest last week. We went for a full week without water because two siblings were quarrelling over a debt.

Their father, the government, had no solution. We were not part of that fight but we became collateral damage. Some pseudo-analysts are now sweating to explain this scandalous episode of the perpetual tragicomedy that is our country.

Nyoe, Wasco should have paid their power bill on time. Blah, blah, LEC should not have cut off Wasco. Nyoe, nyoe the minister should have intervened. All are missing the point that such a thing should never happen.

There is only one justifiable reason to switch off a whole country’s water supply. One! And that is only when the water source is contaminated by some deadly poison.

Note that Muckraker is saying “deadly poison” because Wasco has been feeding us some terrible water for years. We are not getting sick because our bowels are now resilient customers of that water.

The unalloyed truth is that the whole episode was embarrassingly childish. Frankly, this was not about an outstanding debt but someone flexing their muscle.

A whole country was left squirming because of a problem that should have been sorted behind closed doors. Even Uncle Sam was using a basekomo. Imagine the finance minister with a bucket.

The minister of natural resources quickly realised that he runs nothing. Muckraker hopes the bottled water companies and retailers have paid some commission to the LEC because they are the only beneficiaries of that manufactured crisis.

Muckraker refuses to believe that debt alone could have escalated matters between the LEC and Wasco. Such blunders are never about money alone. Maybe there was a cheeky phone call between the bosses.

Perhaps it started as a civil discussion over payment terms but quickly degenerated into something both trivial and darker. Maybe at some point, Wasco boss said water is more important than electricity and the LEC boss was offended.

Wasco boss: Listen up young man, water is life. LEC boss: Shut up, if water is so important the government would not appoint someone like you to run the water company.

Wasco boss: Nonsense! You know I found this company in a mess. My point is that water is more important than electricity. LEC boss: Yeah right! Don’t think I don’t know how you were appointed.

Wasco boss: Hahahahahah, look who is talking? Give me a break. I said water is more important than electricity. LEC boss: Now you are getting on my nerves.

If you think water is more important I will cut the power to your pumps and we will see if you can push it into homes like a wheelbarrow. Wasco boss: Do that and I will report you to the minister.

LEC boss: Go report while I switch you off. Also, tell him that you irritated me. They had another conversation a few hours after the power had been switched off and the country was running dry.

Wasco boss: How dare you switch us off? How do you expect me to pump the water? LEC boss: You can either push it with your hands or give it some energy drink so that it can climb up the tapes.

I recommend Red Bull because they say it gives wings. Wasco boss galloped back to the Minister of Natural Resources hands-over-head and screaming. And only then did the minister realise that he too didn’t have water.

When summoned to the minister’s office, the bosses behaved like crèche brats. He started it. No, he started it. No, it is you who started it. No, he is the one who said my electricity was not as important as his water.

No, I only said water is life and he got angry. I was calm until he started bragging about water being life when I demanded that he pay his debt. Minister, this man said I should pump the water with a Dragon energy drink.

No minister, I said he should use Red Bull. Do you hear what he is saying, minister? “Shut up,” said the minister after watching the spectacle for a few minutes. He told them to sort out their problem. They continued their argument outside but who cares. The water is back.

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