We, Photographer Ronald de Hommel and (video)journalist Andre van der Stouwe are looking for support to visit the Mekong River in Southeast Asia to report on its problems. We do this for the project disputedwaters.com.
The Mekong River and the livelihoods of more than 60 million people depending on it are in danger because of serious changes in its flow. These changes are caused by climate change, but more importantly by a whole series of proposed dams in the upper and middle reaches in China and Laos.
Disputed Waters is a multi media project that was set up by several independent journalists and photographers to cover potential water conflicts due to climate change and a growing world population surrounding international rivers.
We will visit fishing and agricultural communities in the region that will be affected by changes in the river. We especially like to use some of the funding to make some aerial photography that can tell our story in a very powerful way. Look at previous work on the Colorado River Here.
Weâ€™re interested in the impact of climate change and growing world population on our globalised society. Many experts are predicting that the wars of the future will be fought over water. Well, we tend to agree. Actually there have been many water conflicts in the past, and some are happening right now - for the moment, they are not on the worldâ€™s radar because until now, they havenâ€™t - fortunately - been very violent.
But thereâ€™s no guarantee that these conflicts will continue to be low-profile in the future. Our aim is to report on the risks of future water conflicts and to investigate what conflicts have been bubbling in recent years. Our project is about painting the big picture, the geo-political story, but we also aim to show the impact of climate change on the man or woman on the street - what are the consequences of pollution, over-consumption etc for them?
We have decided to focus on transboundary rivers because of their impact on various countries and large swathes of population. Changes in the status quo directly have an impact in other parts.
In 2010, we travelled several times to the Colorado River in the US and Mexico where we started our project. This year we cove the Nile, Mekong and Jordan Rivers. The Indus and Amazon are planned after that.
All our stories, photoseries and videos are published on the website disputedwaters.com and are accessible to every one for free. Please donâ€™t hesitate to visit the website and spend some time discovering stories while scrolling around on the river maps. We will keep a weblog during the trip; so please subscribe to it and our facebook page.
Thanks a lot.
And hopefully we will see you on disputedwaters.com