Every year since the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro, on March 22nd has been the World Water Day. In addition, this year it is the United Nation´s International Year of Sanitation and people from all over have started taking action through their video cameras, raising awareness at the importance of this finite resource.
First, the issue of providing clean water: we have the Amman Imman: Water is Life program which strives to bring permanent sources of water to one of the most impoverished regions in the world. Their work is focused on the Azawak Valley in West Africa, where water is unavailable 9 months out of the year, and with people dying of thirst, unable to find enough water to drink. In the next video in English, Amman Imman founder Ariane Kirtley talks about her experience in the Azawak region of Niger, of why she founded the program and how she has gotten students to join her cause.
Then, from Witnesses´The HUB special segment on World Water Day: VideoVolunteers in Mumbai show a segment on a water privatization project in the slums and which after being screened to the community had an important impact on the viewers, who then flocked to the government´s meetings of water to demand transparency in the process of privatization and costs, and which resulted in an improvement of the water distribution. The following video is in Hindi with English subtitles.
Last, from Mexico, many users from Jalisco have taken to posting videos denouncing the contamination of the Lerma Santiago river in El Salto and Juanacatlan in Jalisco, Mexico. The audio which accompanies the Buitron2611 video [es] of foamy waters and dead greenery is of people speaking out publicly about the government selling plots of land right beside the polluted river which has been connected to cancer cases, even though the government denies the health hazards. Imdecagua´s video [es] has interviews with cancer patients and family members of those diseased, and they all blame the polluted river for the cancer cases and other systemic diseases. It is known that factories and the city of Guadalajara dump their unprocessed wastes on this river, yet nothing has been done to regulate this. The foam that is churned at the waterfall that is right in the middle of the city is impressive, flying up in clumps that cover cars and illustrate how just living near the river can be hazardous to health. Even high school students [es] have ventured to produce their own example, where they show how people are using this foul smelling and oily water to irrigate crops and for consumption in spite of it´s polluted state. Following, the short video uploaded by aletapatio[es] where you can see the thick layer of foam that covers the river.
If you want to read more about water issues and see more videos on possible solutions to this issue, at 1h2o.org you can see the aquaduct, a human powered vehicle which doubles as a water container and purifier and the lifestraw, a product which filters water as it is sucked, solutions that reminded me of the inventiveness that I had previously seen on the Playpump, a children´s toy which pumps up water to a reservoir as children play.