Flooded dolls houses show urgency of climate action

Image: WaterAid/Joel Chant

An installation of three dolls houses – each at different stages of flooding – has been unveiled on the docks of London’s Canary Wharf.

The striking artwork was revealed by WaterAid to highlight the effects of the climate crisis on children worldwide and demand action from governments, ahead of global climate conference COP27 this November.

The international charity worked with Bristol-based artist and set-designer, Max Dorey, to create the dolls houses - complete with everyday childhood items such as toys and letter-blocks – and showing the devastation caused by rising flood waters.

A reminder that the impacts of climate change are being felt by children and their families across the world right now, the final dolls house is almost completely submerged, ruined by dirty floodwater.

According to the World Bank, climate change is already causing an unprecedented rise in flood levels across the world with nearly one-in-four people facing the threat globally, a 23% increase on previous estimates. This includes people in the UK – according to NASA, areas of London are at risk of regular flooding by 2030, including Canary Wharf, in the capital's central business district.

"We're urging the UK government to lead rich nations in ensuring vulnerable communities can access a reliable source of water. The world will be watching.”

Tim Wainwright, WaterAid

Tim Wainwright, chief executive of WaterAid, said: “Over recent months the world has borne witness to devastating weather events, claiming the lives of thousands of people.

“These dolls houses are a stark reminder that climate change is happening right now, ravaging the lives of children and their families globally. Yet global leaders seemingly sleep-walk from one natural disaster to the next. COP27 offers a real opportunity for action.

“That is why WaterAid is urging the UK government to lead rich nations in ensuring vulnerable communities can access a reliable source of water so they can protect themselves from the devastating effects of climate change.

"This cannot be another missed opportunity for lasting change. The world will be watching.”

The United Nations' COP27 - 27th Conference of the Parties - will take place in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, from 6-18 November 2022.