To DA and QMG, General Headquarters, Dar-es-Salaam
When at Mombasa we had an opportunity of seeing the arrangements for supplying drinking water to the Hospital Ship Vita. These are not satisfactory from a sanitation standpoint and require to be remedied.
The water is brought alongside in an open barge which is so constructed that her iron frames form ribs projecting inwards. Thus her bottom is divided up into numerous small separate and shallow compartments which make her complete emptying a matter of difficulty. We watched the process of pumping the water on board until the supply had got low on the barge and then noticed one of the natives who was assisting in the work slip down into the water for the purpose of adjusting the hose. The water still in the barge came nearly half-way up to his knees and he plunged his hands and arms into it. Needless to say such a system has the elements of danger in it.
Water barges should be properly covered and their interiors inaccessible to natives.
It is also an advantage to employ a type of barge which can be completely emptied and properly cleaned.
Sgd WW Pike
Surgeon General, AMS
Sgd Andrew Balfour
Lieut Col, RAMS