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Water – It’s Precious

Water - It's Precious

Water. We use it every day without thinking. For many of us it’s one of the most accessible things in the world – just turn on one

A Zulu homestead (umuzi) and terrain. Near Eshowe. Kwazulu Natal. South Africa.

A Zulu homestead (umuzi) and terrain. Near Eshowe. Kwazulu Natal. South Africa.

of the many taps in your home and out it comes, hot or cold. Clean. Fresh. Lovely! For many though, this is not the case. For many it’s a daily grind to find or fetch it.

I remember, many years ago, we worked on a book called Zulu. It was about the traditional side of the Zulu people living in

KwaZulu Natal. We worked in some rather far-flung areas, occasionally staying in remote homesteads or imizi. One evening, after a very long day of photography, we were sitting down to a meal of roast chicken, potatoes and beetroot (something of a delicacy in that part of Zululand) when two young Zulu girls brought each of us a bowl of hot water to wash or hands in. How polite. How hospitable… And I thought nothing more about it until later when I was snuggled up in a warm bed in a warm indlu (hut) when I suddenly began to wonder? Where had that water come from? It seems, from the river right down in the valley below the umuzi. And those two young girls had to carry it all that way. On their heads! Makes one think…

So, for that family, water is really precious. And it is too for the 1.8 billion people around the world that don’t have access to safe water. And the 2.5 billion that do not have access to suitable sanitation, and the 840 000 people that die every year from water-related diseases.

Water should be precious to everyone. Without it…. Well…

In an attempt to highlight the wonder of water, friend and film maker, Louis Bolton, Pat and I put this short movie together that we filmed in the Karkloof, just outside Howick in KwaZulu Natal, South Africa.

We are very grateful to Tom Hancock of Rockwood Karkloof Lodges, Kai Schultz of Karkloof Canopy Tours and Jenny Robinson of Benvie Open Garden for access to their lovely properties on which we filmed some of the sequences.


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