“The Water Crisis in Ecuador,” Meghan O’Neill and Bret Nye (2014) — Inquiry 4


Thousands of Ecuadorians struggle every day to survive in a country that provides very little for them. One of the reasons for their continued poverty is the water crisis that has been going on for years. The struggle between the government, oil companies, and the people is difficult to understand. The government hopes to make money through the oil companies who are polluting the natural resources of Ecuador, pushing the people of Ecuador further into poverty. This ultimately is hurting the country more than it is helping it. By turning the people of Ecuador against the government and depriving them from what is rightly theirs, the country remains in a chaotic state. The purpose of creating this video is to explain to ordinary people what is happening in Ecuador. By spreading awareness, there is more of a chance that people across the world will be willing to help create justice in a country that is in the midst of destruction.

This video is geared toward a general audience that does not have knowledge of the issues going on in Ecuador. By focusing on the main points of the issue, such as the Hydraulics Resources Law and the fact that only 15% of water gets to its intended destination due to bad hydraulic systems, the video shows the seriousness of the issue. People are more likely to believe statistics and government issued laws, rather than opinion. Because this is such a sensitive issue and people’s lives are at stake, the video really targets the audience’s emotional side. Using the facts and the visual images to display the issue to the people watching will give them multiple sources of evidence of the legitimacy of the crisis at hand. By using written words, people will see the research done. Through the images, the audience will be able to see that real people are affected by the decisions of the Ecuadorian government and the oil companies that are spoiling the natural resources.

Beginning the video with a simple title gives the viewer a straightforward introduction to what they will be watching for the next four minutes gives them the opportunity to prepare themselves for what they will see. Then there is a globe that directly connects Oxford to Ecuador. This animation is used to make the audience feel as though they are a part of the issue. It also gives them a visual as to where the issue is taking place in relation to where they are. After the connection to Ecuador is made, there is a close up of an indigenous tribe of Ecuador to show directly who is most affected in this water crisis. By following that with a statistic and then appealing to the audience’s emotions through a personal, rhetorical question, the video draws the viewer in, making them want to keep watching. Showing the terrain of Ecuador and how only 15% of the water is able to reach its intended destination will cause the audience to fell for the people of Ecuador; that they are so close, yet so far away from what they need.

The images of the severe pollution of the natural springs in Ecuador show just how bad the conditions are due to the pollution the oil companies are causing. Also, showing that the people receive their water in dirty trucks and over prices jugs show that there is a real issue and something must change. Using the images of the people hurt by this injustice really appeals to the audience’s emotional side because they are viewing the suffering of real people. The video ends on a positive note. It empowers the viewers to spread the word of the crisis to others and stand up to fight for justice. It also gives them the opportunity to learn more and contribute to the cause. I chose the song “Saturday,” by Josh Woodward because it is both powerful and uplifting giving the audience a sense power to change the conditions at hand. It is a very moving song that is able to portray a message that important to the video as a whole. Overall, the video aims to be informative and credible, while also tugging at the emotions of the audience. By showing that this is an issue that is very destructive, but can be fixed is what is important about the video. Issues, such as the water crisis in Ecuador, are real and by raising awareness, we have the power to change them.