WaterAid's VR film shows dearth of water access in Nepal

International development charity WaterAid has created its first virtual reality documentary, Aftershock, to give viewers an immersive insight into life in hill-top communities in Nepal.

Shot in the village of Kharelthok, the film looks at the challenges faced by villagers in restoring access to water in the aftermath of last year’s earthquakes.

It follows plumber Krishna Sunuwar, 58, as he takes on the challenge of repairing the community’s damaged water system. 

Across earthquake-affected areas in the region, nearly half of all water supplies were destroyed, leaving thousands of people without enough clean water.

WaterAid film producer Catherine Feltham said: "Virtual reality gives us the opportunity to take people closer to our work than ever previously possible.  By using this new medium we hope to engage people in the reality of where we work and the challenges we face as well as inspire people 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."

Created by WaterAid’s in-house team, the film was funded by HSBC as part of WaterAid’s global partnership with the HSBC Water Programme. It premieres this week at the World Water Week convention in Stockholm and will then be distributed via events, social media and education initiatives.

HSBC senior marketing manager Hamish Goulding said: "The scale of the global water challenge is often difficult to comprehend and it’s sometimes hard to visualise the effects of initiatives such as the global HSBC Water Programme.

"Virtual reality enables us to bring the programme to life in an incredibly personal way, helping us to better connect with the individuals and communities affected and hear their story."

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