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X-Posted from H-Net Network on the History of Water <H-WATER@H-NET.MSU.EDU> Date: Fri, 6 Feb 2004 10:19:48 -0700 From: Toni Linenberger <toni@MAIL.H-NET.MSU.EDU> -------------------------s From: "Don Osborn" <firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject: Re: Re: Right to a Drink of Water [Kolb] Date: 6 Feb 2004 Here on the edge of another desert (I write from Niger) it is actually considered bad form not to *offer* water to a visitor. The custom is not limited to the Sahel, though, as I've encountered it elsewhere in West Africa. In the Futa Jalon region of Guinea - which is not dry - I recall seeing in some villages where some families had actually put clay water jars for passers by outside their enclosures. In general, though, requests for water also can't be refused - I can't imagine anyone in this region - even in towns - saying "no" to a stranger asking for water unless the situation were somehow unusual. Someone with a well in their compound is not going to refuse neighbors wanting to draw water. (I noticed this often in Mali.) Nothing to my knowledge is legislated, but my impression is that even a village well is not limited, such that if one needs to water one's animals, that too is legit to ask and be granted. People do sell drinking water too (apart from bottled mineral water), but that's in public places and is generally "value added" in that it's cold, having been poured into plastic bags and chilled before vending. Don Osborn