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The Face of Water

Rudi Dundas | Kenya

The new well at Lauragi had just spouted out its first jet of water. The mamas began to sing to beckon and call the water to come forth.

Drinking water is life’s most basic need. Yet nearly a billion people on our planet do not have access to it. For the past 5 years I have traveled to over 15 countries making portraits of people affected by lack of clean water, including the Samburu in N. Kenya, whose portraits here bring a human face to the story of how each person has been affected by the water crisis.

The Samburu of NW Kenya are traditionally nomadic, but the government has settled them so that they can be taxed and documented. If there is drought, they can no longer move to another area. Young girls walk many hours every day carrying 43 lb. jerry cans on their backs to bring water home. Deep tube wells must be dug to supply the water that they need to survive. With well water, the Samburu are learning to make drip irrigation gardens, and grow their own food for the first time in their history.

The face portrays the grace and nobility of culture, to show the human side of this  crisis.

with acknolwedgments and thanks to

The Adobe Foundation Photography Fellowship Program

and Chris Majors of Drop by Drop Photo

Each portrait has a short story telling how that person has been affected by the world water crisis, to show how complex this issue is. The solution is not only digging wells and purifying surface water. One Samburu Elder told me that he had built an acacia fence to protect their fence from elephant damage, but had to remove it when three snakes built nests in the fence, endangering the children.

Water is the most important issue we face today, because it affects every aspect of our lives. And without it, there is no life. With these portraits and the accompanying book I have written, I hope to bring awareness and solutions to ease the crisis.

thousands have lived without love,
not one without water...
wh auden


Blue Planet Network, www.blueplanetnetwork.org

The Samburu Project, www.thesamburuproject.org



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