Gully water tap

Work with what you've got

Water in India, like in many developing countries, isn’t exactly accessible to all. Here, in a busy gully in Old Delhi, amid bustling sari shops and dhabas and the like, a water tap is something a focal point for nearby residents.

During an afternoon visit, I watched this man come with several buckets to fill and dishes to wash. He had to fight for time with a nearby snack vendor who had similar intentions.

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Post card picture

Koh Tao

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Pristine Siliguri waters

Hooray for pollution!

And by pristine, I mean the Mahananda, a stream mixed with sewage and garbage. Shot taken on my way to Sikkim last month.

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A dusty watering hole

Drying lake

The old water tank of Jaisalmer, Gadi Sagar. Now, in the middle of India’s dry season, it’s a shrinking lake and cracked spit of dusty earth.

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The magic of irrigation

Water in a desert works wonders

Rajasthan is a dry, dry place.

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Have yourself an underwater Christmas

During my time away from modern telecommunications, I became a PADI-certified open water and deep water diver. It was a somewhat expensive, incredibly rewarding Christmas(ish) excursion. I find diving to be a near perfect combination of the exhilaration of exploration and the relaxation of meditation.

I also couldn’t waste an opportunity to commit journalism and reported a story on the nascent dive industry in India, a country where most children are never even taught to swim. There’s beautiful unexplored water here which, of course, creates some tension between divers, the environment and, of course, local fishermen.

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Potraits from Kibera

Somali mom

Somali mom

Dry cleaner

Dry cleaner

Disabled grandfather

Disabled grandfather

Shy grandkids

Shy grandkids

Charcoal brick maker

Charcoal brick maker

I spent several days on trips to Kibera, a sprawling slum of Nairobi. People there aren’t always eager to have their pictures taken, but these portrait subjects all agreed. I met them in the company of NGO workers who advocate for clean water.

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Kibera: Pictures of destitution

It’s difficult to overstate the depressing scenes of Kibera, one of Africa’s largest and most well-known slums. The shantytown covers two-and-a-half square miles and, depending on who you ask, has as many as 1.3 million residents. (Some NGOs and analysts question this figure, suggesting the population is closer to 300,000 and is simply inflated to draw more donor dollars.)

I’ve been reporting on water issues in light of Nairobi’s ongoing drought. Public water service is scarce in Kibera (and at times in much of the city), leaving the poorest of Nairobi’s citizens to turn to the private market where they face price gouging and less-than-stellar water quality.

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