The connection between drought and agriculture is easy to see, but water scarcity can have effects that are as far reaching but more subtle that failed crops and dying trees. In “Noori Tales: Stories from the Indus Delta,” on view at Kungsträdgården, Stockholm until September 4, Malin Fezehai photographs the Thatta region in southeastern Pakistan, tracing the relationship between lack of water and education by documenting the lives of school children who live along the canals and inlets of the Indus river. Commissioned by WaterAid and H&M Foundation, the images in part show the results of their School WASH program, which builds latrines and increases access to clean water to encourage education for boys and girl.
Some images are set along the canal that carries drinking water from lake Keenjhar to Karachi, where children swim and women fill jugs to carry home. In others, the role of water is important but invisible—there are girls in a classroom at a primary school, whose numbers have increased because of there is now a separate latrine for them to use. There are images that show the effects of the rising saltwater table, which interferes with farming and causes building walls to crumble—there are fields that once grew crops for humans and now, because of increased salinity, can only grow weeds for livestock, and the shell of a school building at dusk, abandoned because of saline erosion. Together, the images describe water as an issues that isn’t always visible but cannot be taken for granted.