The Water Youth Network participated in the Young Amsterdam International Water Week which ran in parallel to the Amsterdam International Water Week (AIWW) and the Aquatech Trade Exhibition from October 30th to Nov 3rd, 2017. AIWW brings together many water professionals from around the world and is a great opportunity to highlight youth contributions to solving the world’s water problems. Sessions of the first three days were focused around three primary themes: Water Efficiency and Value, Urban Resilience and Water and Peace.
On the third day, the Water and Peace session began with an introduction of the YouKnoW! platform and one of its projects, followed by the culmination of a 3 month ‘running’ challenge on Climate Change, Migration and Me.
Anne-Marie Albrecht, one of the coordinators of the YouKnoW! platform, brought into focus the work of the “Ame o Tucunduba” group in Brazil as part of an initiative of the WYN to showcase projects in the global south supported and funded via the DUPC 2 programmatic cooperation between UNESCO-IHE and the Directorate General for International Cooperation (DGIS) of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The “Ame o Tucunduba” group focuses on the Tucunduba watershed, one of the largest watersheds located in the city of Belém. Belém is the capital of the state of Pará, a port city and gateway to Brazil’s lower Amazon region. Belém has undergone rapid chaotic urbanization. This is caused by only 10 % of residents are having access to treated sewage. The remaining raw sewage drains directly to the Tucunduba river. The Ame o Tuncunda project, spearheaded by a group of young women in the community, have a vision to empower citizens to create a sustainable urban watershed for the future, provide basic information about urban river concepts, sanitation and raise awareness about the issues of the Rio Tucunduba. The informative video presented at YAIWW formed can be seen below. To find out more about Ame o Tucunduba and their experiences, follow them on Facebook at facebook.com/ameotucunduba and on instragram @ameotucunduba
Gathered in a cosy setting we were presented with the different cases of the Climate Change Migration and Me Challenge which aims to convey the relationship between climate change, water and all kinds of involuntary migration. The five presentations included:
After judging of the presentations and posters, the winning team Zika in Paradise was finally awarded with a trip and participation to COP23 in Bonn and the Planetary Security Conference in The Hague. More information of the challenge and the winners can be found here.
In addition to the programme, an escape room was built on behalf of the Netherlands IHP-HWRP Committee to simulate the feeling of having to flee due to climate-change problems like droughts and floods. Locked in a room with five others we had to use any available element to solve a series of puzzles, and find clues to escape the room within a set time limit of 20 mins. It was my first time participating in an escape room, so running high on adrenaline and panic of the countdown clock we put our heads together to unlock a series of locks, keys and puzzles. The ingenious apparatus included discovering a key hidden in a block of ice to solving a combination by connecting a series of water tubes. Each clue led to the deciphering and discovery of a piece of a map that illustrated global issues of melting ice caps, droughts, poor water quality and hurricanes and monsoons.
Working under pressure of the clock our team was able to “break free” with four minutes and 10 seconds remaining on the clock. A record we thought until it was revealed that the quickest team escaped with more than 10 minutes to spare.