Pot of Gold

80x80 cm
Oil on canvas

Water covers about 70% of our planet, yet only around 3% of it is fresh water. Of that, only part is actually accessible to use for drinking water, as the rest is tucked away in for example frozen glaciers and icebergs, or buried deep down in the ground. Water scarcity takes a great toll on especially children since they are often the ones being responsible for collecting the water for the families, often having to walk very long distances which means there is less time for attending schools and getting an education. Apart from this, carrying water for long distances like that is also a huge physical burden and includes a number of safety risks.

Water crisis around the world is really a human problem, rather than a series of isolated geographical issues. In fact, it is not only a human problem, but an “all living beings” problem. Climate change and human factors are rapidly speeding up the process of rivers, lakes and aquifers drying up or being too polluted to use. This has the devastating effects like lack of clean drinking water, loss of habitat for lots of animals leading to misbalance in our ecosystems, absence of water for agriculture, river transportation corridors, even denying children’s right to safe water and sanitation – leading to higher risks for diseases and waterborne illnesses. About 2 million people, whereof mostly children, die each year from diarrheal diseases.

Around 1.1 billion people worldwide lack access to water, and about 1 in 5 children does not have enough water to meet their everyday needs. There is extremely high water vulnerability in more than 80 countries at this very moment, most of those areas being in Eastern and Southern Africa with the highest proportion of kids living in such areas, and South Asia with the largest number. Continuing like we do, in this pace by 2040 approximately 1 in 4 children will be living in areas of extremely high water stress, and more than half of the world’s population will face water shortages by 2050. So even if you have fresh water coming out of your tap whenever you want, the world water crisis is not simply coming - it is already here. We can’t let our pot of gold become an illusion.