More than 270 million Indonesians live in an emerging economy with severe deficiencies in access to water and sanitation, health, and poverty. We have been in direct contact with these endemic problems with our projects for the past five years. The government plans foster collaboration between administrations, institutions, and companies to tackle the significant challenge of financing the solutions and are a hope for demonstrating the importance of taking on the SDG 17 targets to attain SDG 6: universal water and sanitation.
More than 340,000 children die each year from diarrhea. In addition to unsafe water, poor sanitation and hygiene practices, there is a lack of awareness of the health risks associated with these deficiencies. The short film Thought of Water, afinalist of the We Art Water Film Festival 5, explains one of the most common causes: children share the water of a pond with animals and their own feces. The eradication of childhood diarrhea will be a sure sign of the achievement of SDG 6.
Can you imagine what our lives would be like if we had to walk several kilometers every day to get the water we need to live? The more than 150 participants in the Global 6K For Water race experienced it by running six kilometers along the Serralada de Marina in Tiana. Their goal was to raise awareness of the lack of access to water in the world and provide total sanitation to three schools in Indonesia to ensure schooling for girls and good hygiene practices for all students.
We are under-investing in ocean science. We need to know more about such harmful mechanisms as ocean acidification, warming, and pollution. So far, the oceans have protected us from the worst effects of climate change, but there is great uncertainty about their ability to continue to do so in the future.
In Nepal, only 15% of the rural population has access to a safe water source in their homes. The short film Homework, a finalist at the We Art Water Film Festival 5, shows how Sumnima, a village school student, cannot complete her homework because she has to fetch water for her family. All this in a country whose mountains make it the second most water-abundant country on Earth. Nepal is fighting to end this paradox.
India is the world’s largest groundwater extractor. The country is home to 16% of the world’s population but has only 4% of the planet’s freshwater resources. Many of its aquifers are overexploited. The solutions lie in promoting efficiency in local water management. This will only be possible if communities are involved in solutions and if they acquire knowledge and governance rights. A role model for dryland agriculture.
In many rural communities in El Salvador, poor governance, industrial overexploitation, and pollution leave them without access to water. The short film Private Waters, a finalist of the fifth edition of the We Art Water Film Festival, shows how the El Rodeo community has organized itself to guarantee its survival and health.
Science has virtually reached an ultimatum. The next few years are critical to mitigating the climate crisis. We must halve greenhouse gas emissions before 2030 to prevent the atmosphere from warming at its current rate. Failure to do so could derail the world’s adaptation efforts in the face of droughts, floods, rising sea levels, and heat waves. Achieving this is now the priority, and we are running out of time.
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