The Plastic Kettle: running water where you need it

What was the most useful thing to you during this year’s wind storm?  For me, it’s a plastic kettle I brought home from Chad on my last trip there.

In Chad, internal plumbing in a rented home can be a big hassle.  I have seen faucets in bedrooms, but none in the kitchen or bathroom.  Some faucets are a few feet above the ground, perfect for filling up a bucket!  I have also seen them well above my head, too high for me to reach.

How do you get water from strange places to where you need it most?

Answer: the Plastic Kettle

The Plastic Kettle takes the place of the water faucet in ChadChad imports plastic kettles like this by the thousands.  On your way from N’Djaména to Abéché, you will usually see at least one huge truck with hundreds of these kettles tied to the back of their vehicle.

In two of our homes in Eastern Chad, we purchased water brought by donkey or a special wheelbarrow made especially for the task.  We bought a sink top on stilts from a friend who left for Kenya.  It was the closest thing possible to have running water!  Instead of a faucet, we had a special kettle that we would keep filling as we did the dishes.  Instead of flowing into our (nonexistent) sewer system, the wastewater would flow into a bucket.  We would then throw the water onto our flowers and trees in the yard to keep them alive through the hot, dry season.

We could send you this watering can. It will serve you well as a plastic kettle substitute for all your survival and camping needs!

This watering can serve you well for all your survival and camping needs!

When combined with a small basin and placed on a table, you can have a sink right where you need it; you can wash the dishes or laundry in any room of the house. Or substitute the table for a rug for a ground-level view of your surroundings as you wash up!

Chad widely practices the noble custom of washing hands before eating.  Here in Africa, only foreigners eat alone.  Perhaps this is because it requires a friend to hold the plastic kettle while you are washing your hands?

In Chad, they often combine the hand-washing ritual with watering the garden; they hold dirty hands over the flowers or the tomato plant growing in the yard.

The plastic kettles like we had in Chad seem to only be available in Africa.  However, I did find a substitute online: the red watering pitcher, above.  If you’d like, we could send you one for a donation of $7.00 or more to Desert Springs Ministries.

If you are interested, please click on the “Donate” button below, and make a donation to Desert Springs Ministries.  In the comments section, remember to mention the “survival pitcher” so we can be sure to send you one.


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