Capturing the best for World Water Day 2012

For World Water Day this year, we’ve compiled some of the best photos from across the water sector and our portfolio. For an in-depth look at Acumen’s perspective of the water sector, read Nijhad Jamal’s recent blog.

Photo Credit: G.M.B. Akash. Akash is the winner of the WIN Photo competition in 2011. His winning photo (above) was exhibited in Stockholm during the World Water Week 2011, which Akash was invited to attend. He writes about this photo:

“In this particular photograph, I tried to portray the true picture of the scarcity of potable water in slums. In slums, people have to stand in queues from early morning hours to get the daily supply of free drinking water from the government water tankers. As they have no idea exactly when the government tanker will come, they line up their water jars & sit beside them for hours waiting for the water tankers. Even after passing the long queue, the water that they receive is not of purest quality. Rather this impure water causes sickness. Still the poor people feel that they are fortunate not to have to leave with empty pots. This is the plight of the slum dwellers in the Bangladesh capital city of Dhaka.In my winning photo of WIN competition, I wanted to convey the ultimate state of heart wrenching vulnerability and helplessness of the poor little child, who is fighting along with a pigeon for few drops of water.”


A camp in Delhi home to about 4,000 migrant workers with no clean water supply. Workers are dependent on water tankers, and every day, they have to wait for the tanker and scramble for water. They are only part of the 1.1 billion people in the world without access to improved water supply.

Photo Credit: Sia Kambou/AFP/Getty Images. A woman draws water from a well in Gonate, in Ivory Coast. “Since 1990 over 2 billion more people in the world have received access to drinking water. And this progress has not been driven by just big middle-income countries – smaller, less well-endowed countries have also shown the way. The majority of people without access to drinking water – 479 million – live in countries that are not among the poorest. The country with the largest number of people without access to improved water – 119 million – is China, the world’s second largest economy.” Source:

A river in the Qayyumabad District near Karachi suffers from extreme pollution.

On the banks of the Yamuna River in Delhi, men and children are bathing and washing their clothes. A recent government audit found that the level of fecal coliform in the Yamuna was 100,000 times the safe limit for bathing.

Progress on sanitation delivery currently lags well behind other Millennium Development Goals. As such, private sanitation providers, from retailers to masons, from public toilet operators to latrine emptying business, are of vital importance to BoP communities. In developed countries sanitation is the role of the water utility.In developing countries however, the sanitation market is dominated by small private providers, usually very local in nature and often benefiting from little outside support.