Earthquake or drought: The joy of a bright orange – or green or blue – water tank

More than one billion people drink unsafe water, with children suffering most, from the illnesses and malnutrition that result.

Thanks Oxfam for the joy and for this image

Photo credit: Mary Kudla and Taipida Moodhitaporn

Following a disaster like earthquake, access to clean water is a priority, hastening recovery for communities, as with the water ‘sorted’, they can concentrate their energies and limited resources on other aspects of health and welfare. Thanks Oxfam, for sharing the story of these bright orange water tanks on your blog.

Unicef has its own water stories, and I particularly like this You Tube clip. Here, raintanks are fairly large and connected to the roof, building self sufficiency, as their water replenishes itself. In the rainy season, stormwater kept clean and detained in tanks is a great advantage, as water off buildings is prevented from sweeping over already waterlogged ground, minimising flood risk. In Indonesia, villagers rely on people coming to fill their tanks every day or weekly…the bright orange tanks are lightweight for carting through dense bush or damaged landscapes. The downside of this is that they can only provide water for a day or a week at a time. And the orange tanks aren’t hooked up to a catchment system like a tarpaulin or an iron roof, so the water isn’t replenished direct from the skies…Whatever the issues, the benefits are clear, water tanks provide a lifeline in and after disaster.

Bright orange water tank Image via Oxfam

Thanks Oxfam for this image

To Unicef and Oxfam…keep up the epic work. And to my council in Porirua, thanks for having the wisdom to put 40 large rainwater tanks in accessible places right around our city. Water is a lifeline in an emergency, and finding joy in a ‘bright orange’ – or green or blue – watertank – is not limited to developing nations. Clean water is a must for all of us.

Here’s Unicef’s story. Safe water – all year – for communities in Paraguay:

Related link: Oxfam News Blog

About robynmmoore

Anything to do with people and the environment and I'm interested! I have been writing and commenting about education, the environment and other community-related matters since 2006. I'm a compulsive researcher. In 2009, I finished a thesis on Kapiti's water issues and am still researching outcomes there. This website and the work I do as a trustee for the Whitireia Foundation are part of my aspiration to contribute to 'shaping more sustainable communities'...also the title of my thesis. Look it up - it's free at
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