Humans continually violate the harmony of nature and, as a result, suffer from lack of natural resources. This constant and resonant plot is embodied in numerous works of art. Mustafah Abdulaziz, American photographer based in Berlin, is undertaking a 15 year long project (2011 to 2026) appropriately named Water. He traveled the world looking for water, researching how different cultures perceive water, its exploitation, and the challenges to preserve our planet’s most vital resource. Today, his body of work covers eight countries on four continents, and is supported by Water Aid, Earth Watch, WWF, VSCO, and the UN.

The image below capture a group of fishermen waiting for their turn to sea. The locale is Sindh Province, Pakistan, 2013.Abdulaziz’s striking images look at the fragility of life but, more importantly, they hold up a mirror to how our individual behavior affects the collective’s quality of life.

The 2 images below is from Sierra Leone. The availability of drinking water in this country is limited. Studies of recent years show that the need for drinking water in urban population of Sierra Leone is satisfied only by some 84%, and rural by only 32%.

India. The population of India is 3.5 times greater than that of US, creating a huge burden on agriculture and natural resources. About 21% of infectious diseases in the country is due to the quality of drinking water, which is significantly lower than any allowable level.Pakistan. Scientists from the UN University believe that the first nuclear conflict on Earth might break out not between Russia and the United States but between Pakistan and India due to lack of drinking water.

Nigeria. The most densely populated country of the African continent risks to enter the top three most populous countries of the world by 2050. Today, more than 60 million Nigerians live without access to drinking water, and more than 100 million lack access to purified water.

Interview with the photographer and more images in Photographer Mustafah Abdulaziz Traveled the World Looking for Waterre.



Experiment With Excrement

MasenoThis is Leroy Mwasaru, 17. He is a student of the Maseno School, the oldest English language school in Kenya. Maseno was founded in 1906 by Christian missionaries. One of the most famous alumni of the institution is the father of the current US President Barack Obama.

Perseverance shall win through is the school’s motto, and its mission — To   foster  and   promote holistic education and to train students  who  are  capable  of contributing  competently to global development.

In early January 2013, Maseno opened new dormitories for 720 students, and it had a few problems. Pit latrines and a faulty sewage system inevitably left foul odors and polluted local freshwater sources. The kitchen used firewood as cooking fuel. To produce it, the surrounding trees must be cut down and, besides, wood smoke is bad for your health.

Local conservationists were unhappy, residents protested, requiring the school’s closure. So, as Grist reports, Leroy Mwasaru and four of his friends had an idea: to harvest human excrement and other wastes and turn these “products” into a safe, clean and eco-friendly source of cooking fuel.


Human Waste Bioreactor (HWB) proposed by Leroy Mwasaru and his friends.

The HWB is “an underground chamber holds the human, animal, and kitchen excrement, while microorganisms go to work breaking down the muck. This process releases biogas, a source of renewable energy comprised mostly of methane, the same as the fossil fuel natural gas that powers most non-electric stoves in the U.S. The gas is contained in the HWB, ready for use as fuel.

Last month Mwasaru presented at the Techonomy 2014 conference in California, and gained even more ideas to develop and refine the HWB design.

"After the success of our second prototype, we continued to work to improve the equipment, adding the ability to separate urine from solid waste, as urine will reduce the production of gas or, even worse, to slow down the whole process," says Mwasaru.

“After the success of our second prototype, we continued to work to improve the equipment, adding the ability to separate urine from solid waste, as urine will reduce the production of gas or, even worse, to slow down the whole process,” says Mwasaru.

Truly, necessity is the mother of invention.