Friday, October 22, 2004

Egyptian Science Journalist Wins the Wash Media Award 2004

Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council



Other prizes for reporting on water, sanitation and hygiene issues go to journalists in the Philippines, Indonesia, Pakistan, Côte d'Ivoire, Peru and Nepal Geneva, 22 October 2004: The recipient of the first WASH Media Award is Nadia El-Awady from Egypt for her outstanding article "The Nile and its People", which illustrates the impacts of industrial pollution, sewage and solid waste management on people's health and dignity along the River Nile.

The WASH Media Award was established by the WSSCC in 2002 in order to encourage and promote investigative reporting on water, sanitation and hygiene issues by developing country journalists. An international panel of judges evaluated more than 100 entries from print, radio and TV journalists from over 40 countries.

Mrs El-Awady is the Health and Science Page Editor of She holds a Bachelor's degree in Medicine from Cairo University and is currently studying for a Master's degree in Journalism and Mass Communications at the American University in Cairo.

In her winning entry, Nadia El-Awady writes: "The River Nile has been Egypt's 'vein of life' since time immemorial. Now facing a variety of threats ranging from Bilharziasis to the dumping of raw sewage, industrial, and agricultural effluents, the longest river in the world has slowly been turned into a death sentence for Egypt 's millions." .

Commenting on Mrs El-Awady's article, Mr. Robert Lamb, Chair of the Judges' Panel, said: "This is an outstanding piece of journalistic work - clear, concise and investigative. As a journalist, one immediately gets to thinking that this is something one should be doing a larger programme about."

As the first prize winner, Mrs El-Awady will receive US$ 500 plus an all-expenses paid trip to Dakar, Senegal, to attend the first WASH Global Forum in November 2004. The 2nd prize of the media competition (US$ 500) will go to Mr Nereo C. Lujan from the Philippines for his article "Boracay's Road to Ruin" on the Philippine resort island of Boracay. .

Four other prizes of US$ 250 each will be awarded to: Mr Théodore Kouadio from Côte d'Ivoire for his article "Access to drinking water" ("Accès à l'eau potable"), Mr Andreas Harsono from Indonesia for his in-depth investigation "From the Thames to the Ciliwung", Ms Ammara Durrani from Pakistan for her article "The vulnerable water carriers" and Mr Luis Enrique Lozada Gallardo from Peru for his series of radio features on environmental sanitation ("Serie de saneamiento ambiental").

The competition included two further special awards: A "Youth Reporter award" for journalists under the age of 21 will be given to Ms Suvecha Pant from Nepal for her article "Arsenic free water a distant dream for villagers". The "Trachoma Media award", sponsored by the International Trachoma Initiative (ITI) for reporting on Trachoma-related issues, will be given to Ms. Agatha Anthony Mshanga from Television Tanzania (TVT) for her TV documentation "The Trachoma Challenge in Dodoma Rural".

The international panel of judges consisted of Mr Geoffrey Lean (UNEP's Our Planet, UK), Mr Nalaka Gunawardene (TVE Asia Pacific, Sri Lanka), Mr Robert Lamb (TVE/BBC Earth Report, UK), Mr Victor Bacchetta (Freelance journalist, Uruguay), Ms Claudia Mazzeo (Freelance journalist, Argentina) and Mr Seidick Abba (Panapress News Agency, Senegal). The panel evaluated all entries according to five criteria: originality of subject, quality of treatment and content, quality of investigation and research, the relevance of WASH issues and potential public impact.

The judges evaluated a large number of high quality entries. As a result, WSSCC has decided to give special recognition and Certificates of Appreciation to the following journalists for their valuable coverage of specific water, sanitation and hygiene issues: Mrs Yvonne Raharimanga from Madagascar (Radio feature "Water: guarantee for public health and sustainable development" - "L'eau: garante de la santé publique et du développement durable"), Mr Sergio Márquez from Mexico ("Arcediano's doubts" - "Las Dudas de Arcediano"), Ms Lina Samko from Russia ("To drink, or not to drink?"), Dr Asha Krishnakumar from India ("A Sanitation Emergency"), Mr Joachim Ezeji from Nigeria ("Nigeria and sustainable water development"), Mr Takawira Musara from Zimbabwe ("Disaster looms at Porta Farm") and Mr Rene Ezpeleta Bartolo from the Philippines ("A River of Liquid Life").

The WASH Media Award
Established by the WSSCC in 2002, the WASH Media Award encourages investigative reporting on water, sanitation and hygiene issues by developing country journalists from print, radio and TV media. An international panel of judges evaluated more than 100 stories in English, French and Spanish from over 40 countries. WSSCC received entries from print, radio and TV media that were written or produced in one of three languages - English, French and Spanish. Journalists could also submit entries in other languages but needed to provide a translation into one of the aforementioned languages.

The Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC)
The WSSCC is a leading international organisation that enhances collaboration in the water supply and sanitation sector, in order to attain universal coverage of water and sanitation services for poor people around the world. The Council was set up in 1990 through a mandate by the United Nations General Assembly to maintain the momentum of the International Drinking Water Supply and Sanitation Decade (1981-1990). In 2001 it launched the global WASH campaign "Water, Sanitation and Hygiene for all" aimed at mobilising political support for these issues and to accelerate the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals. The WSSCC Secretariat is located in Geneva and is headed by Executive Director Mr. Gourisankar Ghosh.

For more details:
Mr Sören Bauer, Communications Officer, Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council, Geneva, Switzerland, Tel: +41 22 917 8674, E-mail:
Ms Eirah Gorre-Dale, WSSCC Representative to the United Nations, Tel.:+1(914) 309-5491; +1(914) 923-8575; Email:

© 2003 Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council
International Environment House - Chemin des Anémones 9
1219 Châtelaine - Geneva - Switzerland

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