International development charity WaterAid has launched its first virtual reality documentary, Aftershock. The film immerses viewers in the unique challenges faced by hill-top communities in Nepal to restore access to water in the aftermath of last year’s devastating earthquakes.
Shot in the village of Kharelthok, Aftershock uses the power of film to engage viewers as they follow plumber Krishna Sunuwar, 58, taking on the challenge of repairing the community’s damaged water system.
“Virtual reality gives us the opportunity to take people closer to our work than ever previously possible,” said Catherine Feltham, WaterAid film producer. “By using this new medium we hope to engage supporters in the reality of where we work and the challenges we face as well as inspire them by proudly showing how we work alongside fantastic community members and project partners. The beauty of this medium is that it allows the viewer to be fully immersed and we look forward to seeing the reactions of people all over the world as they are transported to Kharelthok.”
Across earthquake-affected areas in the region, nearly half of all water supplies were destroyed leaving thousands of people without enough clean water and vulnerable to disease.
The film was funded by HSBC as part of WaterAid’s global partnership with the HSBC Water Programme. Over five years, this partnership has reached 1.4 million people with safe water and 2.1 million people with sanitation across Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Ghana and Nigeria.
“I have seen first-hand WaterAid’s work, which is bringing improvements to so many lives,” said Sue Alexander, HSBC Senior Manager of Environmental Programmes. “Through the medium of virtual reality, we can bring people closer to that experience. Aftershock tells a powerful story that is a reality for millions of people living without access to safe water, and we’re delighted to help bring this issue and the important work of our partners to life.”
WaterAid, together with partners, is supporting Nepal’s long-term recovery over the next two years. Using a ‘build back better’ approach, the project aims to reach 30,000 people living in earthquake-affected areas with access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene.