Water Journalists Africa

From Gambia to Burundi and Uganda, groundwater is being contaminated and threatened. And in the near future, it could be depleted due to human activities and consumption despite the lack of accurate data about how much remains underground.

Climate change is already affecting groundwater in multiple ways. Rising temperatures and decreased rainfall pose a significant threat to groundwater availability.

Most rural communities access groundwater through shallow wells.

Worrying is the increasing rate of destruction of surface water systems, especially forests and wetlands, which, according to the Nile Basin Initiative (NBI), play an essential role in sustaining groundwater quality and quantity, providing a storage medium for water, and supporting complex ecosystem niches of economic and environmental importance. 

InfoNile, with support from JRS Biodiversity Foundation, has been engaging university residents in a science communication competition on groundwater and biodiversity in the Nile Basin.

The competition aimed at informing youths about the value of groundwater and biodiversity in the communities. 

Delicate Sive, the communications officer at InfoNile, says, “from this, they would be able to employ their already acquired skills in science and research to communicate effectively to the general public.” 

According to FOA, the economic contribution of groundwater in agriculture is now estimated at up to USD 230 billion per year globally.

Groups of 2-3 university students, including at least one science student and one communication or journalism student, were invited to apply for this program which involved training before they embarked on working on their submissions. 

Up to 23 students, all of them working in teams, participated in this competition. The groups included at least one science student and one communication or journalism student.

The top three groups won monetary prizes, certificates, and trophies. 

We now bring you the winning submissions that were crafted with visual aids, art, speeches, video, audio, text, photography, and any other form of communication that the general public could understand.

Moïse Ndayiragije and Seth Niyogushima’s documentary, which came out number one, emphasizes groundwater’s vital importance in Burundi, especially for farmers.

The runners-up came from the West African nation of Gambia. Their story focused on groundwater contamination, as told in the following video.

Uganda took the prize for the second runners-up. In their winning story, Bashiba Masinde, Peter Nuwagaba, and Rinah Masinde focused on how natural springs are helping to sustain lives in Uganda.

The trio creatively put their story together, as seen HERE.

Water Journalists Africa (WJA) is the largest network of journalists reporting on water in the African continent. It brings together some 700 journalists from 50 African countries. It was established in...

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