Archive for May, 2011

May 26, 2011

WASH-JN Le west african wash journalist network (réseau ouest africain des journalistes wash), est né.

Impulser une dynamique aux réseaux nationaux et contribuer à une visibilité de la problématique du secteur eau, hygiène et assainissement dans nos pays respectifs tel est la mission première du nouveau réseau créé.

Une cinquantaine de journalistes venus de la sous région (Bénin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinée Conakry, Libéria, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Sénégal, Sierra Léone, Togo, du Ghana) et du Cameroun ont pris part à l’assemblée constitutive.

Rencontre organisée avec l’appui de la coalition WaterAid et du Conseil de concertation pour l’approvisionnement en eau et l’assainissement (WSSCC), deux ONG partenaires œuvrant dans le domaine.

L’objectif de la rencontre

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May 26, 2011

WaterAid promotes access to water in Sierra Leone

By Mustapha Sesay

Access to pure and affordable water to billions of people in deprived communities is being viewed by many as a key to development as lack of it is the primary cause of hunger, disease and poverty in most developing nations. Our daily and social activities can never be completed without the effective use of pure water.

With this as a watchword, there is the need for all to come together to raise awareness and influence policy makers on their fight to make water affordable to the billions dying due to poor water and sanitation related diseases.

This problem is acute in desert areas and West Africa where in urban areas and remote villages this issue is a thorn in the flesh and deserves the attention of all agencies working towards enhancing affordable and clean environment for all by 2015.

In West Africa, one organization that has taken the lead to help in awareness raising and striving towards this vision is the West Africa

Water Aid WAWA; an international non-governational organization working with journalists in the sub-region.

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May 10, 2011

Effects of climate change on water supply in Lagos


Babatope Babalobi


With a geographical size of 3,577 square kilometres, Lagos State is one of the smallest states in Nigeria, representing 0.4% of the entire geographical area Nigeria. Lagos State is located on the South-Western part of Nigeria on the narrow Coastal flood plain of the Bight of Benin.

Lagos State has an area of 356,861hectares, out of which 75,755 hectares are wetlands with the dominant vegetation of tropical swamp forest, comprising fresh waters and mangrove swamp forests. It shares a double rainfall pattern, with two climatic seasons – Dry (November-March) and wet (April-October). The drainage system of the State is characterized by a maze of Lagoons and waterways which constitute about 22% or 787 sq. km of the State total landmass.

The state has the highest population in the country, with over five percent 5% of the national estimate. The 1991 National Census figures put the population of the State at 5,725,116, out of a national estimate of 88,992,220. The UN Habitat Study and the UNDP assisted state Regional Master Plan estimated Lagos State population in year 2000 at 13.4million and over 15 million inhabitants in 2004.

The recent UN study (1999) expected the City of Lagos to hit the 20million population flux in Year 2010, thus progressively reaching 24.5million population in year 2015, at which time Lagos will be the third most populous city in the world. Thus Lagos population is growing ten times faster than New York and Los Angeles, with grave implication for urban sustainability.

The major water bodies in the state are the Lagos and Lekki Lagoons, Yewa and Ogun Rivers. The raw water supply is obtained by the Lagos Water Corporation (LWC) mainly from two rivers, the Iju and the Owo (170,000 and 265,000 m3 per day respectively).

The location of the state within the coastline implies that it is vulnerable to climate change, while its high urban population implies that  provision of potable drinking water by the state’s water utility- the Lagos Water Corporation will be a major challenge.

The Lagos Water Corporation is in charge of supplying drinking water services to all parts of urban and semi urban areas of the state. However, the size and growth rate of Lagos means that needs are growing very rapidly.

The LWC currently has an installed water supply capacity of 160 million gallons per day (MGD) (712.9 million litres per day (MLD)), but ageing supply lines, water works and poor public electricity hamper the services of the corporation, hence it is operating at only 48% capacity, or only 36% of water demand. It supplies water to about 60% of the population. Only about 4million of the state’s 15million population have access to piped water.

The general shortage of water supply that is a result of this low capacity utilisation is then met by privately operated tankers, porters and privately owned boreholes and wells. This in turn has its own issues with regards to water purity standards, higher delivery costs and the ultimate impact on the state’s water levels from the improper tapping of ground water reserves and wastage in its collection and delivery.

The LWC believes that between 2000 and 2025 demand for potable water will grow from 200 to 1,200 million gallons per day (MGD), capital investment of US$100 million per annum will be required in order to reach 80% coverage.

Water is involved in all components of the climate system (atmosphere, hydrosphere, cryosphere, land surface and biosphere). Therefore, climate change affects water through a number of mechanisms. Water supply services are highly vulnerable to drought, extreme precipitation, and sea level rise.

Nigeria is likely to experience an increase in global warming from 1.4 °C  to 5.8°C over the period 1990 to 2100. This national increase in atmospheric temperature and an increase in surface water temperature  may also cause a decreased flows in Ogun/Osun River Basins caused by longer and more frequent dry seasons; and a reduction in dissolved oxygen content, mixing patterns, and self purification capacity and increase in algal blooms respectively Ogun/Osun River Basins. The Lagos Water Corporation sources it’s raw from these basins.

The changing climate is likely to exacerbate water management problems in Lagos generally through rising sea levels in the costliness, variable rainfall and extreme events like floods. Increase in inter annual Precipitation variability will evidently increase the difficulty of flood control and reservoir utilization during the flooding season.

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May 10, 2011

WASH-JN's Press statement on World Press Freedom day

As the World marks World Press Freedom Day today, May 3, the West Africa WASH Journalists Network has called on media practitioners to use media tools in drawing global attention to human tragedy caused by lack of access to safe drinking water and sanitation by the world’s poorest communities.

As we celebrate press freedom today and advocate for new frontiers for expanding the freedom, media practitioners must realise that Press freedom comes with a meaning and a responsibility. Press freedom means we have more powers to demand greater rights for our people, and we have a responsibility to ensure those rights are granted and guaranteed by national governments.

As the global press discusses the theme of this year’s event : 21st Century Media: New Frontiers, New Barriers, the West Africa WASH Journalists Network urges Journalists all over the world, including the west African sub region to use the media to break down frontiers and barriers that deny people access to basic water and sanitation service.

Access to Water and Sanitation are basic human rights but almost two thirds of the world’s population do not have access to safe sanitation services. Diarrhoea, one of the health effects of poor sanitation, kills more children every year than AIDS, malaria and measles combined.

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May 9, 2011

Communique issued at the 2nd General Assembly of the West Africa WASH Journalists Network (WASH-JN)

  1. We, Water and Sanitation Journalists working in Television, Newspapers, Radio and Online media  in fourteen West African Countries- Nigeria, Cameroon, Togo, Benin, Ghana, Cote d Ivoire, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger,  and Guinea.
  2. Gathered at  our second Annual General meeting in Accra, Ghana, Wed 27th-Fri 29th April 2011.
  3. Concerned that West African countries like several other sub Saharan countries are off track towards meeting the WASH related MDG goals and other targets.
  4. Aware that the poor in rural, semi urban and urban areas lack access to WASH services the most.; and this has adverse effects on the socio economic and health status.
  5. Aware of the need for all stakeholders to take actions towards increasing the access of  our people to water and sanitation services
  6. Conscious of our role as media practitioners to uphold the responsibility of the government to the people

Hereby resolved as follows:

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May 9, 2011

Report of the 2nd AGM of the West Africa Water and Sanitation Journalists Network (WASH-JN)

  1. The West African Water and Sanitation Journalists Network held its first General Assembly in Accra, Ghana, between April 27-29, 2011 at M Plaza Hotel, Accra, Ghana
  2. In attendance at the meeting were Water and Sanitation Journalists working in Television, Newspapers, Radio and Online media  in fourteen West African Countries- Nigeria, Cameroon, Togo, Benin, Ghana, Cote d Ivoire, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger,  and Guinea. Each

    Members of the WASH-JN's Coordinating Committee

    Media Network was represented by  two representatives.

  3. The Ghana meeting was organized with the support of WaterAid and Water and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC).
  4. The meeting was a follow up to two earlier meetings- The inaugural meeting of the Network in December 2010 in Bamako, Mali, which brought together journalists from nine countries in West Africa as well as representatives from the Pulitzer Centre on Crisis Reporting and WASH United; and the 3 man Steering Committee meeting held in Dakar to finalise the draft constitution of the of West African Water and Sanitation Journalists Network for presentation to this first General Assembly meeting.
  5. Prior to the 1st AGM, a meeting of the Steering Committee of the Network took place on  April 26, 2011 at the Regional office of WaterAid in Accra, Ghana, which the agenda for the AGM meeting was discussed and fine-tuned
  6. The AGM kicked off on April 27th with presentation of progress reports by representatives of the Media Networks of the member countries. This was followed by general discussion on the lessons learnt, challenges, and problems faced by each of the countries. All the 14 participating countries presented country reports
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