Sanitation organisations unite to launch new Media Fellowship

Press Release • 02 September 2019

Africa Sanitation Media Fellowship Award will support journalists to address the continent’s greatest sanitation challenges.

An alliance of organisations working across the WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) sector in Africa, led by advocacy tank Speak Up Africa, is today launching a new media fellowship award, designed to boost reporting on the most pressing sanitation issues in Africa. The Golden Sludge Media Fellowship, launched during World Water Week, is open to all journalists working across the continent with an interest in reporting on sanitation and related public health issues.

Today 1 in 3 people still live without adequate sanitation facilities in Africa, with this number rising to 75% in the West African region. This new media fellowship aims to educate journalists on the current state of sanitation in Africa and improve their access to the sector’s stakeholders, providing the tools these journalists need to make a real difference when reporting on sanitation.

Successful candidates will be offered all-expenses-paid access to the 20th AfWA International Congress and Exhibition in Uganda in February 2020, during which they will attend talks and meet leading experts in the WASH sector to understand the key challenges and opportunities for improving sanitation issues in their respective countries. Furthermore, selected fellows will also be offered technical and financial assistance to carry out campaigns that meet the objectives of helping to improve access to sanitation facilities and therefore improving public health.

Throughout the year-long fellowship, the selected fellows will commit to developing several impactful articles/ broadcast reports that aim to improve national sanitation initiatives. To support this commitment, meetings will be facilitated between the selected fellows and key organisations and research institutions working in the sanitation sector.

The Golden Sludge Media Fellowship is supported by a group of organisations working to improve sanitation conditions in Africa through effective communications and advocacy. Selected fellows will have the opportunity to speak with a number of these, including the African Water Association (AfWA), WaterAid, the Africa Population Health Research Center, Sanitation and Water for All (SWA), international think-tank IRC (WASH), the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Niyel, the Center for Water Security and Cooperation, the African Ministers’ Council on Water (AMCOW) and USAID’s Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Finance programme.

Yacine Djibo, Founder & Executive Director of Speak Up Africa, says: “Speak Up Africa has advocated for the improvement of and access to properly managed sanitation facilities for several years now. We believe that no one should be left behind – everyone, at all levels of society, deserves access to safely managed sanitation and clean drinking water.With access to adequate sanitation, there is an even greater ability to improve health, economic productivity and equality across the continent. The Golden Sludge Media Fellowship is just one further example of our commitment to working in partnership with like-minded organisations to improve sanitation conditions across the continent. We strongly believe that journalists have an important role in holding leaders accountable to improving sanitation in the areas where they work. We hope that this media fellowship will empower journalists to take a creative approach to shine a light on the sanitation issues of today and push sanitation higher up the political agenda and we look forward to reviewing applications from journalists across the continent.”

The fellowship is now open to all journalists across Africa. The closing date for applications is November 15, 2019. If you’re a journalist interested in the media fellowship, please visit this link to find out how to submit your application.

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