Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Movies that Matter: IHE Delft screens Above Water documentary at festival

Must read

Diplomat Magazine
Diplomat Magazine
DIPLOMAT MAGAZINE “For diplomats, by diplomats” Reaching out the world from the European Union First diplomatic publication based in The Netherlands. Founded by members of the diplomatic corps on June 19th, 2013. "Diplomat Magazine is inspiring diplomats, civil servants and academics to contribute to a free flow of ideas through an extremely rich diplomatic life, full of exclusive events and cultural exchanges, as well as by exposing profound ideas and political debates in our printed and online editions." Dr. Mayelinne De Lara, Publisher

IHE Delft Institute for Water Education and Movies that Matter are organizing a screening of the documentary Above Water (original title: Marcher sur l’Eau), which is part of the Movies that Matter Festival, held annually in The Hague.

By Ewoud Kok, IHE Delft Institute for Water Education

IHE Delft Institute for Water Education and Movies that Matter are organizing a screening of the documentary Above Water (original title: Marcher sur l’Eau), which is part of the Movies that Matter Festival, held annually in The Hague.

Above Water, by French director Aïssa Maïga, illustrates the dire consequences of climate change in the Sahel, where a lack of water dominates life and limits the possibilities of inhabitants. It will be screened at 15:00 on Sunday 10 April in The Hague – for tickets, see this link.

Droughts in the Azawagh region of Niger endanger the semi-nomadic livelihoods of residents: they worsen conditions for people who already suffer from water scarcity. The situation in the Sahel is not unique: In 2020, about 2 billion people – a quarter of the global population – lacked access to safely managed drinking water, meaning their human rights are not fulfilled.

According to a report by UNESCO, on a global scale, half of the people who drink water from unsafe sources live in Africa. In Sub-Saharan Africa, only 24% of the population have access to safe drinking water, and just 28% have access to basic sanitation facilities that are not shared with other households. Unequal access in Africa is also linked to gender disparity. The burden of collecting water lies mainly on women and girls, many of whom spend more than 30 minutes on each journey to fetch water, a situation that prevents them from attending school.

About the Azawagh region

During the short rainy season, which lasts one to three months, households depend on marshes to meet their primary water needs for drinking, cooking, washing and livestock. This water is turbid and contaminated with weeds, human filth and animal excrement. While this source of water is non-potable, it is plentiful enough  to support families.

After the rainy season ends, the people of the Azawak rely on water holes they manually dig into the dried marshes, in surface sediment up to 20 metres deep. During the nine- to eleven-month-long dry season, most individuals survive on less than six litres of water per person and per day (the World Health Organization prescribes a minimum of 15 to 25 litres per day and per person) and have difficulty finding time for other revenue-generating activities or school.

The cinematographically impressive documentary features mesmerizing landscape shots while delivering a stark and serious message: those without water are done waiting for access – they need it now.

Above Water / Marcher sur l’Eau at IHE Delft.


After the screening of Above Water, moderator Ama van Dantzig dives into the causes, consequences and possible solutions of water shortage with professor Eddy Moors (rector IHE Delft), Jean Gildas Tapsoba (MSc student in Water Management and Governance, IHE Delft) and Elisabeth Lictevout (director of the International Groundwater Resources Assessment Centre.)

Why are regions like the Sahel so vulnerable to droughts? What is the best way to alleviate the urgent needs of local populations – is it a matter of digging more and deeper holes to access groundwater? What is the role of women? And what structural solutions are needed to ensure that all people have access of water and sanitation, as called for in Sustainable Development Goals (SDG6)?

For more info and tickets visit:

Ewoud Kok, IHE Delft

Ewoud Kok

IHE Delft Marketing Officer Ewoud Kok, who oversees the Institute’s  marketing campaigns and plays a key part in communicating the organisation’s marketing messages.

He graduated from the Delft University of Technology in 2003 and since then regularly updated his skills at various workshops and courses, including a short MBA at Nyenrode Business University. Ewoud is part of the IHE Delft’s Communications Office since 2003.

- Advertisement -spot_img

More articles

- Advertisement -spot_img

Latest article