The Mono River


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Africa » Benin » South » Athiémé
September 26th 2007
Published: September 26th 2007
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SundaySundaySunday

As the river swells, it leaks into the 'emergency routes' as I call them, filling the ditches and cutting off the very end of the road where most of the river transport takes place.
These pictures are of the flooded Mono river during the first two weeks. After the first two weeks, the river went back to its bed, but only stayed there for a week before flooding again. When we were drying out, the air reeked of rotting vegetation, but now that we are wet again, I have a fresh breeze off the water. I am told that the third time the river leaves its banks in its flooding season, which is now, big fish come with the water. (Obviously big fish don't come into my yard during the dry season...) The first two times I only saw lots of little fish and many tadpoles, which the kingfishers feasted upon. Now, even late at night, I hear sounds of what seem to be large fish hitting the top of the water, eating bugs. I need a fish net, and some line and a hook. I hope that pictures are interesting, at least for those few of you who have met Athieme in person. I now have no interest in seeing more water- I post pictures for your edification. 😊
Yovocome, my neighborhood, is not hit so hard as other places- in villages where home
Sunday MorningSunday MorningSunday Morning

Sunday morning in front of my home.
are made of beaten earth, families sleep on tables and parents tie their children to roof beams (the roofs are rather low) in case of flooding in the rooms mixed with restless sleepers. Roads leading from those villages to a main town are cut off, and people wade if not lucky enough to find a dug-out canoe to bring them across.
Another point of view, though, is that it is interesting to see how a river floods without having been canalized. There is a dam about 200 kilometers upstream which has helped diminish the area flooded, but other than that and deforestation, not too much has changed on the river, meaning that the natural flood routes (i.e., my yard) are still present and are entirely full as of this morning, and filling. It's interesting to me to see how a river naturally absorbs the force of all the water flowing through its bed.


Additional photos below
Photos: 17, Displayed: 17


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Swimming the RiverSwimming the River
Swimming the River

The barrels are full of red oil, a natural oil from the Palm Nut tree. About five barrels were thrown in at a time, each one followed by a swimmer. One intense moment someone was too tired about half way across, but he was rescued.
Taxi StopTaxi Stop
Taxi Stop

At the end of the road, where the transport on the river loads and unloads, including the men-pushing-barrels form of transport. The usual 10 foot descent to the boats is overfull and hidden.
Monday MorningMonday Morning
Monday Morning

Monday morning in front of my home.
PhotogenicPhotogenic
Photogenic

I am not falling- I am kicking water at the cameraman while strategically not getting the camera wet.
PreparingPreparing
Preparing

The hole in the foreground of the picture is from a light post that had to be removed. The post had been a good three feet from the edge of the water, but alas, the river banks crumble.
Wrong Way!Wrong Way!
Wrong Way!

In the foreground of this photo, you can see water has filled the drainage ditch, which means the water is flowing the wrong way, and up the ditch, not down... Something to consider.
Oh the RiverOh the River
Oh the River

I think this is pretty.
The Last One StandingThe Last One Standing
The Last One Standing

As an environmental volunteer, people approached me asking for a means to save this tree, one of the last remaining impressive trees in the area. I found nothing that could truly save the tree in a feasible and timely manner. My statement: trees fall when next to rivers. Plant trees; its much more cost effective than saving the only ones left standing.
Front YardFront Yard
Front Yard

The east lake-side view. And this is not the highest level the water reached. Cover the next two steps, and that's about today's level of water.
Front Yard PrettyFront Yard Pretty
Front Yard Pretty

I think this is pretty.
Neighbors FleeNeighbors Flee
Neighbors Flee

They have seen enough. I remain.
Back YardBack Yard
Back Yard

The west lake-side view.
LaundryLaundry
Laundry

Water up to my thighs to bring down dry laundry. It's just not right.
The GardenThe Garden
The Garden

What it was...
It Got the Garden...It Got the Garden...
It Got the Garden...

Gosh dang it. But Carlos and Patrice were able to save mostly everything by replanting on the higher ground.


26th September 2007

Dork!
You are a dork!!! Go live with the sisters! What are you doing staying in that house??? Now that you didn't get any sleep last night, you'll be too tired to tie yourself to you rafters and avoid the flood water. If it rises too high, will the piroque come pick you up inside the house?
26th September 2007

were you able to save the tree, or did it fall in?

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