2010 Canadian Tour

Behind the scenes, water and Montreal

Posted by: ChrisH

The camp is open in each city from Thursday to Sunday inclusive. On the Monday we are busy taking down the structures and loading them into the truck. Then it’s a drive to the next location. Tuesday is a break for most of us followed by a busy Wednesday unloading the truck and building all the structures again.

Loading the truck in Ottawa

Getting water can be difficult – and that applies to our mock refugee camp as well as real ones. Upon arrival at Montreal there was a mix up. At 3pm Wednesday a tanker of water was due to arrive. By 5pm it had not. Our unlucky logistical coordinator agreed to meet them at 6am Thursday (3 hours before open). They told him then that they didn’t have a tanker and that they would use a long hose to connect the municipal supply to our 950 litre water bladder. By the way, 950 litres is what the average Canadian would use in 3 days or what the average refugee would make last 190 days in an emergency. The hose pipes couldn’t connect and around 15 minutes before opening they located a tanker and we had water for our mock-camp.

Trucking water in Montreal

So finding water in Montreal wasn’t easy. In the desert, you might imagine, it’s even more tough. When I asked the lady from Rwanda last week what she thought of our camp, it was the queuing for water that she remembered most vividly. People say that you never forget not having enough water.

Otto fills the bladder tank

Like Ottawa our camp has been busy – we have had over 1,000 visitors every day in both locations, partly due to the invitations we sent to donors and schools, but also due to the media coverage. I’ve been spotted on the TV news already. The fame hasn’t gone to my head so far.

We are still in Montreal today and Sunday, so stop by and see our valuable water and the other commodities that millions of refugees are currently risking their lives to find elsewhere.