Sunday, June 22, 2014

The Winter of our Discontent

A week ago, we got a frantic phone call from the neighbour  who turns our watering system on at the plot whenever the trees are looking a bit limp. He had turned our water on during the Wednesday morning and then, while it was watering, he ended up spending the rest of the day running over field and dale, at another neighbour's request, to help recapture some lost livestock that had wandered off for many kilometers.

On his return, as he drove past our place, he remembered our water was still on and luckily he did not have his water-meter key with him. Lazy to go first to his house to fetch it, he asked the water-meter reader, a Zimbabwean chap who lives 30 metres from our water-meter at the gate, to bring his water-meter key and together, they turned the meter off and both took note of the reading. It is so fortunate that he had a witness to this, otherwise we would have thought  that what happened next was down to him. 

On the Friday afternoon, a local person ran up to the neighbour's house and told him that our water was running on the trees and there was so much water in the tree holes, he could hear the water jets as they hit the surface of the water at each tree. They  rushed down to investigate and discovered that somebody had turned our water on at full bore, something the neighbour never does himself, and about 70kl had been used since he had turned it off on the Wednesday. 

I am devastated at this, now that I have calculated just how much water has been delivered to each of the approximately 100 trees. With the water from the intentional watering, followed up almost immediately by this malicious act, the trees have received an equivalent of 16 x 5000 litre tanks of water, in the middle of winter, in soil that has a high clay content, in the space of three days!

For the next few days until we can visit our property, I walk around with a sick, heavy lump in my stomach and throat. All I can think about is the likely demise of drowned trees and that horrible feeling that comes with knowing that somebody, who is  in possession of their own universal water-meter key , as are all property owners there,  wishes you such ill-will and malice. 

The horrendous water account that will face us is just going to add insult to injury, and is going to be especially tough coming after a huge purchase we have made for our next trip up to the plot.  Ironically, the purchase is linked to the water system inadequacies and problems facing the area.

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