A new free exhibition that tells stories of charities working abroad to help communities access clean water has opened this week.
Water charity WaterAid teamed up with photography company Fujifilm to bring stories from Ambohimanatrika in Madagascar – where the charity will work this winter to bring clean water and decent toilets – with an exhibition at the newly launched FUJIFILM House of Photography in Covent Garden running throughout January.
Madagascar in the frame, which runs for a month from January 6, features striking images by award-winning photographer Saraya Cortaville and WaterAid Field Officer Ernest Randriarimalala.
Alongside these are candid shots by children from the communities in Manjakandriana, just east of the capital Antananarivo, who were given instax instant photography cameras so they had the opportunity to tell their own stories, providing a unique insight into life through the children’s eyes.
Rova, 11, lives in Ambohimanatrika with her parents and four siblings, and often visits her grandmother and football coach, Juliette, on the other side of the village.
Rova said: “To get water, I use a big bucket. I carry it under my arm, I am strong. I am used to fetching water every day, two or three times a day. Inside our water source, there are branches, creatures and plastic bottles.
“In the evening, we go to the river to wash. It’s nice, but sometimes we get itchy skin when too many ducks and geese have been in the river.”
Nearly half the population in Madagascar lacks access to clean water, and around nine in 10 have no decent toilets, having a devastating impact on people’s health, education and livelihoods.
Ernest’s work with WaterAid is focused on bringing to life the daily reality faced by those denied access to clean water and sanitation, and the differences these basics can bring.
Ernest said: “I see little kids in these villages with no access to clean water and it reminds me of my own childhood. I used to be sick all the time, just like these kids.
“For me this is not just a job, it’s a personal fight – to make sure that everyone, everywhere gets safe, clean water.”
Tim Wainwright, WaterAid’s chief executive, said: “The striking photos in the exhibition bring to life the beauty of Madagascar and the strength of its communities while highlighting the poverty that holds many back from reaching their full potential.
Millions of people across the country and billions more around the world are denied access to safe water, decent toilets and good hygiene simply because of who they are, how much money they have, or where they live.
WaterAid is committed to working towards a world where everyone everywhere has clean water to drink and decent toilets. Gaining access to these basic human rights creates a ripple of change, improving health, education and livelihoods of whole communities.”
Andy Ross, Fujifilm UK’s head of corporate communications said: “Madagascar in the frame’ beautifully demonstrates how clean water and good hygiene can change communities’ for the better.
We believe in making a difference right through our work, from celebrating the unique power of photography to bring stories such as those of Ernest and the children of Madagascar to life.”