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WaterAid animations reveal devastation of climate change in words of those affected

WaterAid animations reveal devastation of climate change in words of those affected

Campaign, created by Don’t Panic, contrasts sometimes flippant attitudes with reality of life in Malawi, Nepal and Tanzania.

COP26, the United Nations Climate Change Conference that takes place in Glasgow, is less than three months away, and on Saturday, Alok Sharma, the UK minister in charge of the talks, warned the world faced “catastrophe” if decisive action was not taken.

But the reality is that catastrophe is already here in many parts of the world. Australia and California, among the world’s wealthiest places, have experienced increasing destruction from wildfires over the past two years. But in some of the world’s poorer countries, the situation is even more urgent, with increased temperatures and extreme weather threatening water sources and food production.

'That’s the message in a new campaign for WaterAid created by Don’t Panic, which comprises a trio of animations produced by Strange Beast under the banner "Climate stories". Each one opens with a character who fails to take the threat to life seriously – from a woman on a rubber ring in a pool saying “Climate change is lovely though isn’t it?” to a dressing-gown-clad man reading the paper, who asks: “We’ve got plenty of time to reverse climate change. Haven’t we?”

Each films then zooms in on an isolated character who relates the impact of climate change on their own home and community in stark, simple language. “When you look around, all you see is dried grass and cracked soil bed. A sign of no life,” Belita Fenek, a market trader from Lake Chilwa in Malawi, says.

“Four houses have been completely swept away by the landslide,” Govinda Buthapa, an engineer from Dolakha, Nepal, reveals. “One of the water sources was completely covered up.”

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