In the desert land of Chad, there is nothing more refreshing than a cold drink of water. But where could you find it at home, in the market or a business where electricity is so scarce? If I were you, I would head straight for the nearest water pot.
The water pot has its origins in ancient Egyptian and Greek societies. But as people began to use electricity for refrigeration, it fell into disuse. Not so in Chad, where clay pot manufacturing is still one of the most successful artisan businesses.
A Cooler Cooler
The location of your water pot determines how cool the water will be. The goal is to give it as much shade while providing the greatest possible access to a gentle breeze. Ironically, because of cooler nights, it is in the Sahara Desert part of Chad where water pots get much cooler. In winter, it is possible to find a thin layer of ice on the surface of the water inside!
The clay from which it is made allows the pot to “sweat” a portion of the water within it, and when the small breeze blows on its surface, it cools the water inside. There is always a cover on the mouth of the pot, and usually a “goblet” or large plastic cup.
When you wish to take a drink, you remove the cover with one hand, dip the cup in the water with the other, and shut the pot. There is no need to add extra protein to the water through mosquito breeding, after all!
When you have finished drinking your cold drink from the water pot, it is traditional to splash the remaining water onto the surface of the pot, at least a half a cupful.
Don’t be intimidated by a water pot covered with green algae; this living addition facilitates the coolness of the water within without affecting it cleanness.
For want of refrigeration, friends have used water pots as refrigerators by putting the food or drinks they wish to cool in airtight containers.
Do you have any tips on how to keep cool? Tell us int the comments below!