As climate change continues to wreak havoc on the world, nonprofit WaterAid has debuted a new campaign that depicts the realities of people living with its effects, in animated form.
Three films, created by Don't Panic, highlight the effect that climate change has on people’s access to clean water by using the voices of real people in real communities. Each starts with a handful of typical opinions that you might hear from characters whose lives are not directly affected, then hones in on a particular person. The animations are based on the lives of communities living around Lake Chilwa in Malawi, in Kigamboni, Tanzania and in Dolakha, Nepal. They give first-hand accounts of their experiences enduring floods, drought or landslides.
Production was by Strange Beast, which worked with several different animators to bring the stories to life. The characters in the opening cacophony were donated by a handful of different animators, highlighting the individual nature of opinions. Each of the three experiences were brought to life by a different animator.
“The truly sobering thing about the production of this campaign was how easy it was to find these harrowing stories," said George McCallum, associate creative director at Don’t Panic in a statement. "There are so many millions who lack the most basic means to survive climate change. Water.”
The films are running on TV in the U.K. as well as on digital platforms. They follow WaterAid's first ever animated ad, The Girl Who Built a Rocket, which debuted in February. The charity opted for animation given travel restrictions during the pandemic and has worked with in-the-field communications specialists to portray the communities and characters authentically.
"We want to encourage people to visit our website to understand what we do and why, as we believe this will increase consideration for our work, leading to more sustained support," added Johnty Gray, mass engagement director, WaterAid.