Whitby Beach giant sand art highlights climate change threat

Whitby Beach became an artist’s canvas this week when international charity WaterAid created a striking portrait in the sand.

By Duncan Atkins
Tuesday, 16th March 2021, 5:24 pm

The art shows a child carrying water on cracked ground next to the rising tide, to highlight the impact of climate change on people’s access to water.

Extreme weather such as prolonged droughts dry up water sources like springs and wells, while rising sea levels and flooding contaminate ill-protected water supplies, with potentially devastating consequences.

WaterAid’s 60m wide artwork was supported by players of People’s Postcode Lottery, ahead of World Water Day on Monday, as a stark reminder that climate change is happening and those who have done least to cause it are feeling its effects first and most severely.

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Aerial view of the beach art.

It took artists from Sand in Your Eye four hours to create the portrait of 12-year-old Ansha from Frat in Ethiopia, who spends hours each day collecting dirty water from a river.

After only an hour on Whitby Beach, Ansha’s image was washed away by the rising tide – highlighting how excess rainfall and rising sea levels can lead to flooding, contaminating water and endangering lives.

Players of People’s Postcode Lottery have supported WaterAid since 2013, helping bring clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene to millions across the world.

A message from the editor

The art on Whitby beach showing the portrait of 12-year-old Ansha from Frat in Ethiopia, to highlight the impact of climate change.

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The tide comes in on Whitby beach art.

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