The destruction of the Tanjaro River ecosystem shows that all is lost when water is polluted. Its recovery is also becoming an example of the difficulties of governance in a country that has not recovered from several wars. The short film Tanjaro is Dying, finalist of the We Art Water Film Festival 5, shows the disastrous consequences of the uncontrolled growth of a city in a region that has almost no memory of peace.
Africa’s largest island is facing a serious humanitarian emergency. Drought and sand storms have unleashed one of the worst food crises in the history of a country with endemic deficiencies in water infrastructures and with a governance that is incapable of adequately managing the territory. The short film Where to go?, finalist at the We Art Water Film Festival 5, provides direct evidence of a crisis that threatens to kill more than a million people.
Lack of water, poor quality of parched pastures and inefficient governance underlie most ethnic and religious conflicts in the Sahel region. In the so called African “hunger belt”, it is clear that the attainment of the SDG 6 is essential to attain all other goals, especially SDG 16: peace, justice and strong institutions. An achievement that will enable the planet to envision a much better future.
The more we know about environmental problems, the more global solutions become. The water footprint of economic activity is closely linked to the carbon footprint, and both have an impact on the ecological footprint. The goal of reducing greenhouse gases should take hydric stress into consideration in a global approach that is essential to achieve efficiency and justice.
The “boat people” who live on board precarious vessels on Lake Manchar are discouraged about their future. Water pollution and salinization has almost stopped providing them with fish, forcing them to migrate to the mainland or towards the sea. The Floating Family, finalist in the micro-documentary category at the We Art Water Film Festival 5, recounts the precarious situation of the last fishermen who survive in Pakistan’s largest lake.
Salinization due to climate change and the reduction of sediments affect most deltas worldwide. The unsustainable management of land and water aggravates the decline of ecosystems and causes situations that must be urgently reverted. In the Mekong Delta, farmers try to survive in spite of these problems. Their daily fight has inspired the short film The Thirst for Freshwater, finalist in the micro-documentary category at the We Art Water Film Festival 5.
The ancient history of mankind has been marked by all kinds of crises caused by the lack of water due to climate changes. Many cultures were able to overcome them, others were unable to adapt and declined. We have to learn from the cultures that resisted and those that succumbed.
When is a country known to be water efficient, and is its agriculture, industry or urban supply water efficient? The attainment of the SDG 6 by 2030 forces us to provide an answer to these questions. UN Water has developed certain indicators to help manage water efficiency and also to understand it.
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