Waking up the government during the Climate March in Rotterdam

Article: 21.06.22, Amsterdam, Wendy Klaasse

‘No water, no life.’ ‘Wij willen water, nu en later’ (=we want water, now and later), two slogans with which Simavi took to the streets during the Climate March in Rotterdam on June 19th to raise awareness for the water crisis.

About time

Because the climate crisis is a water crisis. And it is about time that the Dutch government realises this. With the Water Wake-Up Call Simavi demands firm commitments from the government. We want action, cooperation and promesses to be kept.

Voice that demands change

With a petition we want to gather us much autographs as possible to offer to our government. And we are trying to mobilise people. Because the more people we get to join our movement, the more powerful our voice, that demands change, gets. That’s why everybody was welcome to join us to take action during the Climate March.

Place to gather and prepare for the march

Our Water Cocktail Bar on the square Binnenrotte in Rotterdam was a place to gather for all water activists. We made protest signs here. Kids were able to get face paint in Water Wake-Up colours. And the water bar was open all day for free water cocktails, signing the petition and a conversation or information on the water crisis.

Well prepared with striking protest signs and refilled water bottles the crowd walked the city centre of Rotterdam. During the Climate March almost 10,000 climate activist from several organisations took over the town. The section ‘water and women’ was enthusiastically led by new Simavi managing director Dieneke van der Wijk, who at the time had just completed 3 days of service

Simavi Managing Director Dieneke van der Wijk at the Climate March

Action is needed. Women and girls are bearing the brunt

The crisis hits those who have the least resources to defend themselves against the dangers - like droughts and floods hardest. 'In many countries in Africa and Asia, these are mainly women and girls: they have contributed the least to the causes of the climate crisis, yet bear the responsibility for the availability of drinking water for their families.’, says Dieneke van der Wijk. She believes that action is needed. 'For that we raise awarness. Preventing further warming is necessary, but in the meantime we cannot close our eyes to the water crisis that is already affecting the most vulnerable people.'

Spoken word artist Hind Eljadid

Spoken word adds power

The message of Simavi and the Water Wake-Up Call was given added power by spoken word artist Hind Eljadid on the main stage. Hind is a socially critical writer who produces spoken word, slam poetry, theater and columns. Her performance, a true ode to women, moved all listeners, despite the pouring rain. And made it all the more clear why it is so important to draw attention to women in the climate crisis.: ‘Het is de vrouw, het is de vrouw die loopt, Met kilo’s water aan het lijf, Voor kilometers in de rij, Het is de vrouw …’ (='It's the woman, it's the woman who runs, With pounds of water on the body, Stands for miles in line, It's the woman ...’)

Do you want to support the Water Wake-Up Call? Sign the petition

Esther Oeganda

Everbody has the human right to safe water and sanitation.

Take action