Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC)
Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI)
August 21st, 2012

Six journalists have been named as winners of the “WASH Media Awards” competition for their excellence in reporting on water, sanitation and hygiene-related (WASH) issues.

The journalists and their winning entries are:
• Alain Tossounon (Benin): “Access to safe water in the town of Ava-Sô, A perilous conquest for survival.” (Accès à l’eau potable dans la commune de Sô-Ava, Une conquête périlleuse pour la survie.)
• Ngala Killian Chimtom (Cameroon): “The Taps Have Run Dry”
• Berta Tilmantaite (Lithuania): “The River Runs Back”
• Francis Odupute (Nigeria): “The Strategists”
• Francesca de Châtel (Belgium): “Water Around the Mediterranean”
• Ketan Trivedi (India): “Alchemy of Earning Money through Wastes and Making a Village Clean, Hygienic and Lovely”

The winners will receive their awards during a ceremony, on 31 August 2012 at the World Water Week in Stockholm, Sweden. During the World Water Week, the journalists will share their experiences on reporting WASH issues with leading water, sanitation, environment and development experts reporting during different session throughout the week.

Media in general and journalists in particular are key partners for sanitation, hygiene and water sector professionals in their awareness raising, advocacy and behaviour change work. Journalists play a central role in the highlighting of water and gender related issues and positioning of women as environmental leaders. They greatly contribute to bringing in the spotlight the too often neglected issues of the necessity of toilets and hand washing for a dignified, safe and healthy life for billions of people. The WASH Media Awards, organized by SIWI and WSSCC, two leading sector organizations, take a clear stand that it is not only necessary, but vital.

SIWI’s Acting Executive Director, Mr. Per Bertilsson, highlighted the importance of the WASH Awards in recognizing and promoting professional journalistic ingenuity in covering WASH stories.

“The winning entries for the 2011-2012 WASH Media Awards reflect an excellent example of how journalists could creatively bring underreported stories to the surface. These stories will inspire many in our sector to engage in new interventions, as they offer new perspectives on solving issues related to water supply, sanitation and hygiene,” he said. The winners will be able to share their stories at three different sessions during the 2012 World Water Week, which takes place between the 26th and 31st of August, 2012.

The bi-annual WASH Media Awards competition is sponsored by the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC) and the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI). More than 150 entries from 40 countries were evaluated by a jury chaired by: Mr. Mark Tran, a notable international correspondent for The Guardian, UK. The jury included Mrs. Faz da Hall, Executive Producer Channel Africa, SABC, South Africa, Mr. Jon Sawyer, Executive Director, Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, USA. Mr. Olivier Nyirubugara, Senior Trainer Voices of Africa Media Foundation, Rwanda/Netherlands and Ms. Vinaya Deshpande, The Hindu, India. The jury praised this year’s entries for their journalistic excellence, investigative ability, and originality.

Water Journalists Africa

Legitimately registered in Uganda, Water Journalists Africa was established in 2011 in Cape Town, South Africa with support from the UN-Water Decade Programme on Advocacy and Communication.

Water Journalists Africa has since 2011, partnered with various international and Africa based organizations such as the UN-Water, The Water Channel, Water Integrity Network, 2030 Water Resources Group and UNESCO-IHE among several others to enhance reporting on Integrated Water Resources Management in Africa and promote interaction among African Journalists who report on water.

Some 700 journalists from 50 African countries to date are members of this network making it certainly the largest media network on the continent.

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