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SIR SAMUEL WHITE BAKER
CYPRUS AS I SAW IT IN 1879
page 366

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wholesome water, and that the various water companies have made enormous profits, it is not surprising that in a neglected island like Cyprus there should be distress in the absence of abundant rain. The uninitiated in England seldom appreciate the labour and expenditure that has supplied the response to the simple turning of a tap within an ordinary house. If they would follow the artificial stream from the small leaden pipe to the distant reservoir, they would discover that a glen or valley has been walled in by a stupendous dam, which imprisons a hill-rivulet before it can have descended to the impurities of habitations, and that the pressure of waters thus stored at an elevated level forces a supply to a town at a distance of many miles. This same principle might be adopted in numerous localities among the mountains of Cyprus, where the streanis are perennial, but are now exhausted by the absorption of the sandy beds before they have time to reach the villages in the lower lands. Iron pipes might be laid to convey a water-supply to certain districts, upon which a rate would be levied per acre and the crops would be ensured. The government at the present moment obtains a revenue in kind, or in a money valuation of the corn taken at the threshing-floor ; thus in the absence of a crop through drought, or other accident, the revenue suffers directly together with the owner: no crop, no revenue. The main strength of a country lies in an annual income free from serious fluctuations, and the extreme instability of Cyprus is the result of the peculiar uncertainty of seasons which is a special feature in its meteorological condition. It is therefore incumbent upon the government, as an act of

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