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Kilifi

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At Kilifi Creek, the Kilifi Dancers performed ‘Maji ni Uhai’ (Water is Life). The objective was to create awareness on how to save and utilise water.

Creative Commons LicenseMaji ni Uhai by Rebella Afrique Media is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Using a traditional Giriama song for music, the performance was a merger of traditional and modern dance. Choreographer, Mohamed Ismat, mixed these different styles into a stunning dance with a clear message: ‘Water is life; use it sustainably.’

The location of the performance is symbolic. Kilifi Creek is an important coastal water source, not only for the community of Kilifi, but also for the world at large. It flows into the Indian Ocean, connecting Kilifi to people around the world! The residents value the creek for the many resources and beauty it provides.

The creek is even more precious to the community as Kilifi is very drought-prone. Every drop of water is extremely important. In fact, the residents have organized a weekly beach clean-up, to protect their water. This performance is just another step in safeguarding their future.

Creative Commons LicenseMaji ni Uhai Images by Rebella Afrique Media are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Background: Performers of Kilifi, Kenya

The Kilifi Dancers is an interesting mix of volunteers, youth and community groups, and local dance groups. The troupe was formed specifically for this event.

Site leader, Mwanase Ahmed, partnered with local conservation initiatives, the local university, environmental clubs, the local international school, the local government and the Kilifi community to help raise awareness about these water issues.

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Diani

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Students from the Peace Village Education Center performed ‘Maji, Maji’ on June 15 in Diani, Kenya. As a part of an awareness campaign, the performance highlighted the scarcity of fresh water in the area.

Creative Commons LicenseMaji Maji by Fred Mwenda is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

The performance was split into 4 parts:

  1. a call and response song, performed in Kiswahili,
  2. the Global Water dance,
  3. a local dance,
  4. and a participatory dance with the audience.

Peace Village Primary School is situated, specifically, in the Maweni neighborhood of Diani. Maweni experiences marginal and absolute poverty; many residents do not have running water in their homes. And, if there is running water, it is usually salinated. In this area, access to clean water and sanitation is limited, salinised, and often overpriced. The Soa song, used in the third part of the performance, was created to bring awareness to Maweni’s water issues. During the chorus the children shout ‘Maji, Maji’, which means ‘Water, water’ in Kiswahili.

Creative Commons LicenseMaji Maji Images by Fred Mwenda are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Background: Performers of Diani, Kenya

Kate Bouchier was the site leader and choreographer for this event. She, also, represents Family Thing.

Family Thing uses dance as a vehicle to provide opportunities for empowerment, support and a sense of belonging to marginalised, stigmatised and/or vulnerable peoples.

The dancers are all students from the Peace Village Education centre. This centre is a small school in the Maweni area of Diani beach which works with children from predominently poor families in the surrounding areas.

Other Activities to Raise Awareness

The activities below were conducted prior to the dance in order to raise awareness of local water issues.

  • The students from Peace Village learned about the importance of clean water and sanitation.
  • Video interviews were conducted asking the school children and local members of the community what are in their opinion the most important water related issues.
  • Posters and flyers were created highlighting the importance of clean water and sanitation.
  • Talks were conducted about local sand harvesting, which is the process where sand is collected, or extracted from the local reefs.
  • Information was shared on local websites and Facebook pages, including Diani public groups.

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Motakondur

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Students from Zilla Parishad High School in Motakondur, India performed on June 15. Organized by Divya Sree Madichati and choreographed by Sriman, the dance focused on the importance of potable water.

Creative Commons LicenseMotakondur Video by Sathish is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

The major objective was to create awareness of the lack of clean drinking water and emphasise its importance. In Motakondur, the fluorine content in the water is 10-20 times higher than the amount permitted in WHO regulations; therefore, fluorosis is common.

Fluorosis affects the teeth and bones, especially in children under the age of nine.  Long term effects of the disease have lead to the death of many residents. Most of the residents were unaware of the consequences, and therefore, continued to drink this water. Now, after a new awareness campaign from the government, the residents began to search for water free of fluoride and impurities.

Most of the water in this area is fluoridated, and treatment to remove fluoride is expensive, if not impossible. Consequently, the villagers of Motakondur must travel long distances to find potable water for their families. Thus, those who do not have the means to travel must use this fluoridated water.

As educating the younger generation is key to preventing fluorosis, the GWD performance was held at the local high school. In order to collect non-fluoridated water, the staff has to walk more than 20 km to provide potable water for the school. The water is then stored in a tank, where students can access it.

Creative Commons LicenseMotakondur Images by Divya Sree Madichati, Satheesh Ankam and Srimanprasanna Kumar Marumamula are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Background: Performers of Motakondur, India

The performers were students from Zilla Parishad High School. They consisted of both dancers and musicians. The villagers composed the song, Puvvula Bomma, for the dance.

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Durban

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The KwaMashu School of Dance Theatre performed a five-part event in Durban. Choreographer and site leader, Vusi Makanya, focused on the droughts common to the area.

Creative Commons LicenseSouth Africa in Drought by Youngstar Production is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

South Africa is a country located at the southern tip of Africa. It is home to 49 million people. As more and more people migrate into cities from rural villages, the pressure for Durban to meet water demand is ever increasing. Here, Umgeni is the primary source of water for over 3.5 million people. The residents are especially concerned about water shortages in and around the city.

The aim of the choreography was to remind us of the power of water as it moves through our lives. Split into five sections, each routine carried a specific message:

  1. Some people walk long distances to get water.
  2. Water is a vital source of life.
  3. Like cold water to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a distant land.
  4. Droughts are deadly.
  5. Fresh water is crucial for drinking.

This event raised awareness about the role water plays in social and economic development with the view of changing the attitudes and behaviours of the people.

Creative Commons LicenseSouth Africa in Drought Images by Vusi Makanya are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Background: Performers of Durban, South Africa

The KwaMashu School of Dance Theatre (KMSDT) is a non-profit organisation situated in Durban. KMSDT aims to make cultural events accessible to the public by performing in public spaces. Additionally, the organisation provides children around the city the opportunity to learn how to dance.

Founder and artistic director, Vusi Makanya, organized and choreographed the GWD event.

Special thanks are given to the UMoyo Restaurant and the Parks, Recreation & Culture department of the eThekwini municipality.

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Bwaise

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Dancers from the Kawempe Youth Center of Kampala, Uganda performed to underline the importance of clean drinking water. Site leader, Lennie Kleinen, focused on waterborne diseases, such as cholera and typhoid.

Creative Commons LicenseBwaise Video by Whitsaflicks UG Limited is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Bwaise is one of Kampala’s largest urban slums. The people of Bwaise face housing, drainage, water and sanitation issues daily. The area has severe flooding after heavy rains, causing outbreaks of cholera and typhoid. Bwaise residents have been relying on often polluted underground water streams for everyday domestic use. Up to today, Bwaise does not have a piped water system.

During the performance, the Kawempe Youth Center dancers used different styles of dance. They combined traditional dances with contemporary techniques. Wearing traditional dress, the performers carried clay water pots and jerrycans as a medium through which they could communicate their message. The event was held near a centrally-located, heavily polluted body of water, where every minute thousands of people pass by.

Creative Commons LicenseBwaise Images by Whitsaflicks UG Limited are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Background: Performers of Kampala, Uganda

Kawempe Youth Centre uses dance to make an impact on the community. Individuals, ranging from the ages of 14 to 24, consist of 15 dancers and five drummers. The group aims to motivate the community to improve their lives and their environment.

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Ganvie

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Ganvie is situated on the surface of Lake Nokoué in the South of Benin. The dance group Missimidé de Ganvié performed Atchi (a site-specific dance) to send the message ‘Welcome to the Water’.

Creative Commons LicenseAtchi by SunRise Films is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

In the eighteenth century, many Beninese fled the slave raids on the coast to Lake Nokoué. Here, they created a thriving village on the lake. Over time, the residents have formed a communion with the water.

But life is not perfect; the water in Lake Nokoué is saline. Therefore, the residents cannot drink its water. Wells have been drilled around the lake, but they are no longer productive. In order to live, they make long trips on boats to find fresh water and return loaded with containers of potable water. It is quite a paradox: to live on the water, but not have any to drink.

The performance is a play on these boat trips. The dance is an imitation of the daily routine most residents must make just to get clean drinking water.

Creative Commons LicenseAtchi Images by SunRise Films are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Background: Performers of Ganvie, Benin

Missimidé de Ganvié is local dance group, consisting of dancers and musicians. The choreographer, François Gnonlonfoun, is a native of the region. Using the knowledge and experience he has gained living on the lake, he created a powerful performance.

Future Plans

Ganvie is not the only part of the country with water issues. In the North, access to water is becoming more and more difficult. Groundwater tables have lowered, exasperating the problem. In coming years, SunRise Films and Ayéman Aymar Esse plan to organize their future GWD performances in this region of Dassa.

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Beach House

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The Beach House event took place on the shores of Lake Victoria in Kampala, Uganda. Here, three local dance groups were joined by orators to motivate their community to combat water pollution.

Creative Commons LicenseMovin’ on Dance by Masinde Deo is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Lake Victoria is one of the largest lakes in the world. It is also the major drinking water source for Uganda. However, water pollution is a major problem here. Contamination from single-use plastics is of particular importance to the Ugandans.

Site leader and choreographer, Jill Pribyl, organised an impressive event to raise awareness of this problem. Dancers from the Soul Ballet Studio, the Clay Dance Company and Break Dance Project Uganda came together to perform several dances on June 15. Guest speakers, Dr. Tindimugaya, Dr. Bhasdkar, Dr. Gidudu and Stefan Deconinck, spoke about the issues facing Lake Victoria and how to affect change.

Audience members were educated on the distribution of clean water in Uganda. Additionally, they were urged to pledge to reduce their use of single-use plastics.

Creative Commons LicenseMovin’ on Dance Images by Masinde Deo are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Background: Performers of Kampala, Uganda

The Clay Dance Company is a church-affiliated troupe that was founded in 2009. They continue to give performances in Uganda.The Soul Ballet Studio is located in Kampala. Break Dance Project Uganda is a program that works with youth throughout the country to promote positive social change.

Dr. Tindimugaya is a representative of the Ministry of Water and the Environment. Dr. Bhasdkar and Dr. Gidudu are Fulbright Scholars from Makerere University. Stefan Deconinck is from the International School of Uganda.

Future Plans

Dr. Tindimugaya was the opening speaker for the event. He was so inspired by the use of dance to promote a global issue that he has promised to continue to find ways to use dance in other communities to promote the reduction of pollution.

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Johannesburg

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A local theatre company, Sketch Productions, performed Droogfontein to raise awareness about Johannesburg’s water-related problems.  Artistic Director, Hannah Nokwazi van Tonder, focuses on the issues related to water scarcity and lack of proper water treatment in the performance.

Creative Commons LicenseDroogfontein by Cody van Wyk is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Droogfontein, or dry fountain in English, is a good play on words. A well working wordplay as many places in South Africa have ‘fontein’ in their name. The name is also a commentary on capitalism. There is no new land to call ‘fontein’, yet the capitalist owners continue to deplete these ‘fountains’ until they are dry, leaving little to none for the rest. We, as humans, can no longer find the sources of the springs of life that we so desperately need.

The performers are residents of a fictitious town, Droogfontein. They search for the true source of life, a fountain of water. But people are not perfect, and so the source is exploited and taken for granted. Will the community recognize the importance of protecting this precious water or is the name droogfontein a prophecy?

Creative Commons LicenseDroogfontein Images by Masego P. Chale are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Background: Performers of Johannesburg, South Africa

Hannah, along with her choreographers Quinton S. Manning and Joel Leonard, collaborated with a team of eight performers from the ages of 11 to 26 to help make this performance a site to behold. All come from the group, Sketch Productions.

A note from the Artistic Director

I remember the first drought I ever experienced. The water crisis was so bad that we had to wait every week for trucks to come into town and bring us water. But this was not free; we had to pay large sums for it. From that moment onwards, I made sure to speak out not only about water shortages, but also the human impacts of the water crisis. Even to this day, I experience issues. Where I live now, we always see water in the streets, smelling less like water and more like sewage. Additionally, we constantly have water shortages, leaving us without.

I was humbled to be a part of the Global Water Dances community. Staging Droogfontein, for me, was less about giving a performance and more about raising awareness about Johannesburg’s water problems. Many times we see the city as this all giving, all divine construct, when many times it fails to provide for our daily needs. [Hannah Nokwazi van Tonder]

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Integrated Decentralised Wastewater Treatment for Rural Areas Video

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The following video will give you an insight into integrated decentralised wastewater treatment for rural areas. For more information, make sure to check out the rest of the material on this topic. Enjoy!

Creative Commons LicenseIntegrated Decentralised Wastewater Treatment for Rural Areas Video by Usama Khalid is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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The Environmental Impact of Livestock Video

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Raising farm animals requires a large input of agricultural efforts and natural resources. As a consequence deforestation, water shortages and water pollution may occur. Learn more about the environmental impact of livestock in this short video.

Creative Commons LicenseThe Environmental Impact of Livestock Video by Alvaro Rigel Gallegos Rivero and Ruth Schaldach is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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World Soil Resources Video

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In under 5 minutes, you can learn the most important basics about world soil resources. All you need to do is press play on the video below. Have fun watching!

Creative Commons LicenseWorld Soil Resources Video by Zhuoheng Chen, Tavseef Mairaj Shah and Ruth Schaldach is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Here you can immediately test your soul knowledge. If you are not feeling like an expert yet, have a look at the rest of the materials in this Toolbox element and this Interactive lecture.

 

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Aquifer Recharge Video

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Have you ever wondered how groundwater is replenished? Aquifer recharge occurs naturally through different infiltration mechanisms, but can actually also be enhanced artificially, with the intention to store and treat water in aquifers. This short video will introduce you to these methods, the so called Managed Aquifer Recharge (MAR). Press play to learn more!

Creative Commons LicenseAquifer Recharge Video by Berenice Mendez Lopez and Lukas Huhn is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

 

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World Water Resources Video

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This short video will bring you closer to understanding world water resources. What are they? Where are they stored? Can all water resources be used for human purposes? You will find the answers to these and other questions in the video. Press play and enjoy!

Creative Commons LicenseWorld Water Resources Video by Fuzhi Yao and Ruth Schaldach is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

 

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Check Dams Introduction Video

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This short video will give you a brief introduction to check dams and the most important aspects of implementing them. Press play and start learning! For more information about check dams, make sure to check out the rest of the Toolbox.

Introduction to Check Dams Creative Commons LicenseIntroduction to Check Dams – An Erosion Control Practice by Giovanni Timillero and Ruth Schaldach is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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