For being the best of more than 140 entries submitted from 40 countries, the winning journalists will travel to Stockholm, Sweden, for the 17-23 August World Water Week, where they will participate in sessions and collect their awards in front of leading water, sanitation, environment and development experts. The biannual competition is sponsored by the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC) and the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI).
True passion, commitment and journalistic excellence radiated from the television, print, radio and web entries, said the chair of a nine-member international jury, noted television documentary maker Robert Lamb of OnePlanet Pictures, UK. The competition featured high-quality journalism from Africa, Latin America, the Middle East, Central, South and Southeast Asia.
“Public awareness built through the media paves the way for the global community to care and encourages decision-makers at all levels to act,” said Mr. Lamb. “We should give due credit to these journalists who go after the all-important ‘WASH story’ as well as to their editors and producers and to the media organisations who give voice to people and issues that all too often are surrounded by silence.” Last month, a new report from the World Health Organization and United Nations Children’s Fund stated that 2.5 billion people lack access to adequate sanitation and nearly 900 million people to safe drinking water. As eloquently reported by the WASH journalists, behind these numbers are human beings with real lives, faces, homes without toilets and wells polluted by human or chemical waste.
Thus, in a world where holidays in space co-exist with preventable diarrhoeal diseases that kill 1.5 million children a year, those with the power to improve the lives of people — and protect the environment — can’t feign ignorance when confronted with high quality investigative journalism. The work of this year’s WASH Media Award winners has helped to raise awareness of the significance and impact of water, sanitation and hygiene services, promote coverage of WASH issues in the local and national media of developing countries, and encourage a sustainable relation between the media and WASH sector stakeholders.
The jury citations were:
Also being honoured in this year’s competition are second-place winners Yamikani Mwando, Zimbabwe; Tamara Hendel, Argentina; and Dieudonné Soubeaga, Burkina Faso; and third place honorees Budiman Arif, Indonesia; Julia Fabiola Torres Lopez, Peru; and Euloge Aïdasso, Benin.
The results of the competition, held during the International Year of Sanitation 2008, showed that even in today’s multimedia world, “old-fashioned” radio remains both a popular and unique medium for transmitting information, particularly in developing countries and where literacy rates are lower. The results — both the winners and the subjects they covered — also showcased the critically important role of women in sustainable development: teaching their children how to wash their hands with soap; walking great distances to fetch water so that their daughters get an education; or reporting as journalists on the unclean conditions in which millions of women, children and men around the world must live.
“By sponsoring this competition, WSSCC and SIWI recognise and support the crucial role of the media in attracting attention to and positively influencing the WASH crisis,” says Mr. Anders Berntell, SIWI Executive Director. Mr. Jon Lane, Executive Director of WSSCC, added: “Journalists who tell the untold WASH stories work hard and in difficult conditions. They fear not to speak of the taboo of shit and to take the lead in suggesting actions which contribute to demand for toilets and improved lives.”
(The article below was originally published with support from WSSCC by the International Institute for Sustainable Development, here) Presented by Water Supply and Sanitation Collaboration Council (WSSCC), State of Qatar (Qatar Fund for Development), Global Citizen, and Education Cannot Wait, this side event focused on sanitation as a key determinant of health and education. Panelists shared examples […]
(The article below was originally published with support from WSSCC by the International Institute for Sustainable Development, here) This side event convened to launch and discuss the findings of a global review on the effectiveness of national accountability mechanisms on progress towards the water and sanitation targets of SDG 6. The report is available online […]
On July 11, 2018 Simavi and WSSCC hosted a panel discussion during the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development, about “Putting Menstrual Health on the 2030 Agenda.” This event was the 5th of a live webinar series related to menstrual health management and was attended by over 100 in person and online participants. The event […]
Mr. Ali Abdulla Al Dabbagh, Deputy Director General for Planning at the Qatar Fund for Development (QFFD), and Mr. Rolf Luyendijk, Executive Director of the UN-hosted Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC), will speak to policy- and decision-makers in New York on Thursday, 12 July 2018, about the high returns that sanitation and hygiene […]