Adonis Diaries

Accompanying Hanna to fetch potable water

Posted on: May 10, 2013

Accompanying Hanna to fetch potable water (2013)

It is totally ridiculous to many citizens in the world that you have to drive to fill gallons for potable water, from a distribution center…

It is laughable to many citizens in the poorest States that you have to drive 3 miles while the town well is at a walking distance... Actually, many municipalities shut down their naturally flowing sources of water, on account that nature has been polluted and the sources...

It is insane to many citizens that all the water conduits and pipes reach your home, and yet no water circulate in them…

It is unimaginable to many citizens that you have to pay water taxes, for water you never receive. Homes in Lebanon are required to submit  for 1.5 cubic meter per day, and pay for what you asked for, and forget that water stopped arriving to destination…

In the land of rivers, snow capped mountains, milk, honey…

The “chansonniers” in Lebanon like to sing: “Lebanon is beautiful, the natural Eden on earth… and all. And the citizens are so fucked up”

Hanna is a male name, short for Yuhanna. The female counterpart name is Hanni. Sorry for suggesting in the title a romantic love story, of lovers meeting at a well…

Hanna drives my military brother-in-law truck. He is to visit clothing shops, drop off clothes, get paid… A dime in a dollar worth of whatever pieces were sold… And thousand spent on gas and truck repair. And this losing business is called “doing business“.

Twice a month, Hanna drives the truck to our house in order to carry 50 gallons, and I go with him as assistant, drive to the nearest water distribution center, fill the gallons with “potable water” that is pumped electrically from Dbayeh.

Since electricity is frequently not available, so does water.

The minister of power and water has promised recently that soon, very soon… potable water will come down through gravity.

The minister secured the funds for 8 new small dams and he attended three ceremonies so far for “laying the stone” for the projects…

We used to take out the gallons, fill them, recharge them in the truck, drop them in the ground floor, re-filter the water, one gallon at a time, carry them to the 3 floors in the building…

Lately we got smarter: We are carrying a hose to fill the gallons in the truck. Chimpanzees would have figured out better performing techniques.

I listened to many stories and I can be a potential biographer of Hanna, if he suggests this job to me, and if I agree to write the hilarious events in Hanna’s life. Like:

How he smuggled arms and ammunition during the civil war to his town Al Qa3 when he was 16.

How he got injured 11 times as a soldier in the army.

How he diffused a car bomb in Saloumi (Beirut). The first bomb went off and killed and injured dozens of passerby. Hanna and his soldier assistant were on a mission and were not supposed to stop to do anything else. He ordered the soldier to hide the number of the Jeep so that it won’t be identified and he diffused the second bomb. Hanna came forward and the chief of staff commended him. A month later, Hanna received a check worth $750 from the army.

Hanna was within a team of 6 trained men for diffusing all kinds of mines…

How he was the best operator of heavy machines and vehicles: bulldozers, heavy transport trucks, tanks…

And how he erected dirt barriers in Souk el Gharb with a bulldozer under a shower of mortar shells.

About 150 Lebanese soldiers were defending a line against 15,000 Syrian and Palestinian soldiers intent on marching toward the presidential palace in Ba3bda…

This post is about the latest trip to “water hunting

Hanna had purchased an apartment. The two owners had constructed two buildings. Hanna was supposed to have his apartment linked to the Dbayeh water source center that supplies Beirut.

This water is filtered and abundant, not like the center in Tamish where residents have to carry gallons to fill potable water…

Hanna went to see the director of the water in the district. This public official shows up once a week on Thursday morning.

Hanna parked in front of the office the next Thursday, and eased his way behind the director who was from the Dandash family, a family in the Hermel district, close to Al Qa3.

The director got hold of the file, crossed the word Tamish and replaced it with Dbayeh and forced the owner to cough up $11,000 to link the pipes to the building.

The owners had spent just two thousands to link the water conduits to Tamish distribution center

The residents of the two building view Hanna as their hero.

Hanna hates lawyers: They are all liars. He takes the installments of the residents in the apartments every month and pays the “good owner”…

Hanna suffers from acute back pain.

This has nothing to do with carrying four gallons of water, two in each hand. I carry only two gallons, stoop the correct way, all the ergonomically proper techniques for lifting “heavy weight”: I am older than Hanna by 8 years, and I don’t enjoy health insurance…

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May 2013

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