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We have created a striking 60 metre sand drawing portrait of a 12 year old girl carrying water with WaterAid in the sand on Whitby beach to highlight the impact climate change is having on people’s access to water. 

beach_drawing_uk_WaterAid_ Jon Snow-5
©Water Aid/Jon Snow

Extreme weather such as droughts, rising sea levels and flooding will make life harder for the 785 million people already living without clean water close to home who are struggling to meet their basic needs. By 2040, the situation is predicted to be even worse with climate change making water perilously scarce for 600 million children – that’s 1 in 4, and an increase of 20 per cent since 2010. Having a reliable source of water means families can protect themselves from the impacts of climate change.

@WaterAid/Jon Snow

WaterAid’s 60-metre wide beach drawing was supported by players of People’s Postcode Lottery, ahead of the UN‘s World Water Day on 22 March, as a stark reminder that climate change is happening and those who have done the least to cause it are feeling its effects first and most severely.

It took our sand artists four hours to create the portrait of 12-year-old Ansha from Frat in Ethiopia, who spends hours each day collecting dirty water from a river.

@WaterAid/Joey Lawrence

After only an hour on Whitby Beach, the sand drawing of Ansha’s image was washed away by the rising tide – highlighting how excess rainfall and rising sea levels can lead to flooding, contaminating water and endangering lives.

©Water Aid/Jon Snow

On 31 March, the UK government will host a virtual Climate and Development event to build momentum towards this year’s UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow (COP26). WaterAid is calling on the UK government to ensure that at least one third of its committed international climate finance is channelled to locally-led adaptation projects that meet the needs of communities impacted by climate change.

©Water Aid/Jon Snow

The film of the sand drawing is made by Bez Burrows and is narrated by author, TV chef and WaterAid ambassador Nadiya Hussain MBE who is supporting the charity’s call to support families at the forefront of climate change so they have a reliable source of clean water, building security for the future.

WaterAid has released a new report, Turn the tide: The state of the world’s water 2021, highlighting the devastating impact climate change is having on water and how this is disproportionately affecting the world’s poorest people.

Find out more about WaterAid’s work here

Here are links to press coverage


The Times


BBC Look North



The Independent

Lancashire Times–

Cumbria Times– 

Yorkshire Times–  

Hillingdon Times 

Asian Image 

Plus global coverage: Swedish TVNational NewsToday HeadlineStraits TimesRoya NewsRTL (with footage)Yahoo Finance (with footage)News Nate (Korean)La Presse, Yahoo Kino (Germany), Hankookilbo (Korean)

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