Over the course of a three week workshop, four boys and four girls learned basic photography skills and interview techniques in order to document life in an area of Pakistan that is struggling to cope with the day-to-day impact of climate change and freshwater scarcity.
Here, each student presents one photo and the story behind it.
Fatima's home chores
"Her name is Fatima. She lives in village Haji Abdullah Meer Hajr. Fatima is 25 years old. The canal where Fatima goes to wash clothes is far from her home. There are eight people at Fatima's house. She goes to wash clothes daily. She said, 'If we had a water facility at our home we would not have to go to the canal, and we could wash our clothes easily every day. We would not have to face the difficulties of washing clothes at the canal. If we had water, we would not go to the canal.'"
Farooq — Story of soil erosion
"Sadiq Ali is 20 years old. His land has been ruined due to soil erosion. Sadiq Ali’s village’s name is Haji Noor Muhammad Thaheem. He is standing on his land which has become barren. Sadiq Ali’s village is very near to the sea and his land has been affected by the salty sea water. And he says that this land is now not irrigable."
Kulsoom — Dirty Water
"This is Hanifa, she is 25 years old. She is fetching water from the stream. There are 23 people at Hanifa’s house. She makes nine round trips every day in order to bring water to her home. She puts a lot of effort into water collection. Hanifa says that the stream is quite far from her house so it is tough for her to fetch it, and that they have to drink the dirty water from the stream. I asked Hanifa, 'When you know that this water is dirty then why do you drink it?' She replied, 'We drink it because we do not have clean water in our village, so we drink it out of helplessness.'"
Mir Jahan — Playing with the rope
"Shabjahaan lives in village Haji Noor Muhammad Thaheem. She is 17 years old. Here she is playing jump-rope. She likes to play this, but she does not get enough time to play because she has to do the home chores, bring water from the canal and give time to her studies. If she does not do her chores, her family get angry. Most of Shabjahaan’s time gets wasted in fetching water. She wishes to study well because this is the age of studying and playing."
“Shabjahaan is in seventh grade. She says that before they only had a boys' washroom at school so girls felt shy going there. She used not to go to the toilet throughout her school time. She says that she wished they had a separate washroom for girls so that they did not have to face any issues. Now Shabjahaan is very happy. Now she does not feel shy because now girls have their own separate washroom built by NRSP (WaterAid partner). The door key of the washroom is also with the girls.”
Riaz — A Farmer's Story
"His name is Arif, he is 61 years old. There are nine people in his home. In this weather rice is grown so Arif too is growing rice in his farm. I asked Arif, 'In which month do you usually grow rice?' He replied, 'We grow rice in May, and this crop takes three months to produce. It needs a lot of water and requires a lot of effort.' Then Arif told me that they start cutting the crop in August. He earns 5000 rupees a month from the rice, with which he runs his household."
Laila — Problem of water
""The water Nabyat washes her child with is saline, but she says it is okay. 'We can bath with saline water but what should we do for drinking? We cannot buy drinking water all our lives.' Nabyat says that her whole day gets spent fetching water. 'I get tired, and I don’t get time for other work. If we get the water issue solved, we would be really happy.'"
Khalil — The Fishing Story
""The person I met was Anwar Mallah. He is 40 years old. He catches fish and then sells them and runs his home with that money. There are six people at Anwar’s home. Anwar goes fishing at six in the morning. If he finds a customer near the canal, he sells the fish there. He sells them for 100 rupees (per fish). If he does not find a client there, he takes the fish to Gharo (a city nearby). After selling the fish there, Anwar buys household items from Gharo and then returns home. Then he gives those things to his mother. His mother then makes food and Anwar eats with his kids. After having food, Anwar washes his children’s hands and gives them water to drink, as well as having a drink himself."
Aqib — Hard Worker
"The name of this woman is Shehrbano, and she is 42 years old. She is cutting grass for her cow. Shehrbano goes to the fields every day at 7:30 in the morning to cut grass for her cow and then goes back home at 13:30. She works hard to cut the grass; the work requires a lot of effort. She told me, 'I cut grass for my cow because she does not give milk until she has fodder.’”