Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : March 14th 2015 Contents A35
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A youth refreshes himself in the summer heat under a shower on Copacabana
beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Brazil's populous southeastern region is in the
throes of the worst drought in eight decades and reservoirs are at critical lows.
During Rio de Janeiro s long sum-
mers of sticky tropical heat, Viviane
Vargas says she needs not one, not
two, but three showers a day to feel
The saleswoman is not alone: Surveys
say Brazilians are the world s most fre-
quent bathers, taking on average 12
showers a week, putting rub-a-dub-
dub up there with soccer and Carnival
as essentials of the culture.
But a historic drought that is making
taps run dry across southeastern Brazil,
particularly in South America s largest
city of Sao Paulo, has people worried
they might be asked to cut down on
their beloved showers. While it may
not be the most serious problem created
by the drought, observers warn that
restricting showers could spell trouble
for political leaders.
"Showers are part of our roots as
Brazilians. Not being able to shower in
a country as hot as this, where hygiene
is as culturally important as is it, well,
it s enough to cause a revolt," said Rena-
ta Ashcar, co-author of the book The
Bath: Histories and Rituals, published
in Brazil in 2006.
Brazil s populous southeastern region
is in the throes of the worst drought
in eight decades and reservoirs are at
critical lows. Residents of Sao Paulo
have faced water cuts for months, and
that scenario now looms for Rio de
Heavy rains in February and early
March have helped reservoirs in the
region recover somewhat,---but they
still are dangerously below normal lev-
els. The Cantareira reservoir system
that provides water for some nine mil-
lion people in metropolitan Sao Paulo,
for instance, was at less than 13 percent
capacity this week.
Under normal conditions, Brazilians
are used to enjoying the world s largest
freshwater supply. Residents in the
southeast commonly hose down their
sidewalks rather than sweep them and
leave the water gushing from the tap
as they brush their teeth.
The drought has sparked public
information campaigns to discourage
such habits, as well as car washing,
and to urge people to adopt conserva-
tion steps such as collecting their show-
er water and re-using it to clean toilets
Vargas said she has begun to use
water from the washing machine to
water plants. But she s not giving up
her routine of three showers a day---at
least not yet.
"I can t live without them in this
heat," she said.
The average high temperature in Rio
during this Southern Hemisphere sum-
mer was 37 C---making it the hottest
big city in Brazil this year, according
to the Climatempo meteorological insti-
tute. Throw in humidity routinely edg-
ing toward 80 per cent, and it makes
for a sticky mess that prompts people
to shower in the morning and before
going to bed at night.
Brazilians showering frequency out-
paces residents of nearly every other
country, according to a survey published
last year by Euromonitor, a London-
based market researcher. The US, Spain,
France and India all were around the
world average, with just under seven
showers a week. (AP)
Brazil, world's shower champ,
grapples with drought
Tabanca the Blues Band is playing
live at Veni Mange Restaurant, Ari-
apita Avenue, Woodbrook on March
19, at 8.30 pm. Tabanca the Blues
Band has been performing tradi-
tional R&B music in Trinidad for a
It will be performing to celebrate
its tenth anniversary.
Tabanca the Blues Band was
founded by musicians Douglas Redon
and Anders Kappel Øvre a decade
ago in Redon s living room.
Since then the band has performed
throughout the country including
Jazz on the Beach in Tobago.
"We play traditional R&B music
in the style of Muddy Waters, B.B.
King, Otis Redding....," says gui-
Besides Redon (bass) and Øvre the
band consists of Ted Mikel (harmon-
ica and vocal); Ronald Aqui (key-
board); and, Roger Guerra (drums).
A cover charge of $40 is being
Tabanca at Veni Mange Restaurant
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