U.S. Mission Presents
Women, Water and Wells:
Photographs of West Africa by Gil Garcetti
In its first large-scale display of American art in Vienna, the U.S. Mission to International Organizations in Vienna has partnered with the Fowler Museum in Los Angeles to present the work of acclaimed photographer Gil Garcetti at the Vienna International Center from July 9th to 20th, 2012. A collection of 58 black and white photographs, Mr. Garcetti’s show, Women, Water and Wells, powerfully highlights the connection between water resources and human health in West Africa. The exhibit reveals the challenges, hopes, and successes experienced by people—particularly women—throughout Niger, Ghana, Mali, and Burkina Faso who are faced with the daily task of providing safe water for their families and communities.
“The U.S. Mission places great importance on the IAEA’s work to secure clean water through nuclear science,” said U.S. Mission Chargé d’Affaires Robert A. Wood. “This exhibit shows exactly how vital it is to support the peaceful uses of nuclear technology,” he added.
In May 2010, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary R. Clinton announced President Obama’s IAEA Peaceful Uses Initiative to expand international support for IAEA technical cooperation projects by $100 million before 2015, with the United States contributing $50 million. Since then, U.S. contributions to the Peaceful Uses Initiative have funded more than $18 million in IAEA projects that benefit more than 120 Member States. This funding is in addition to the large U.S. share of overall contributions to the IAEA Technical Cooperation Fund.
Through its technical cooperation program, the IAEA provides Member States with information and skills in the peaceful application of nuclear technologies to better understand and manage their water resources. IAEA projects funded by the Peaceful Uses Initiative have supported efforts in Costa Rica, the Philippines, and Oman to identify and address gaps in national hydrological data. At the IAEA Board of Governors meeting in June 2012, the United States announced an offer of $250,000 under the Peaceful Uses Initiative to the IAEA’s project “Integrated and Sustainable Management of Shared Aquifer Systems and Basins of the Sahel Region.”
As Gil Garcetti’s photographs so clearly demonstrate, there is an urgent need to address the lack of water for drinking and agriculture in the face of persistent drought in the region; indeed, 40% of all people who lack access to safe water live in sub-Saharan Africa.