A Nigerian Journalist, Francis Umendu Odupute was yesterday named winner of the prestigious “WASH Media Awards” 2012 competition for excellence in reporting on water, sanitation and hygiene-related (WASH) issues.
Odupute’s winning entry for the carton category of the competition is titled: ‘The Strategists’, which depicts a typical Nigerian politician on an electioneering campaign offering free water supply for voters on the condition that they will in turn vote for him on election day.
Speaking on the entry, the Acting Executive Director, Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI), Mr. Per Bertilsson, said it reflects “ an excellent example of how (a) journalist could creatively bring underreported stories to the surface… (and it ) will inspire many in our sector to engage in new interventions, as they offer new perspectives on solving issues related to water supply, sanitation and hygiene”.
Odupute works for Benin city based- Nigerian observer, as an Editorial Cartoonist and Features writer. He is also a member of the Water and Sanitation Media Network.
Five other journalists were also named winners in various categories. They are:
- Alain Tossounon (Benin): “Access to safe water in the town of Ava-Sô, A perilous conquest for survival.” (Accès à l’eau potable dans la commune de Sô-Ava, Une conquête périlleuse pour la survie.)
- Ngala Killian Chimtom (Cameroon): “The Taps Have Run Dry
- Berta Tilmantaite (Lithuania): “The River Runs Back”
- Francesca de Châtel (Belgium): “Water Around the Mediterranean”
- Ketan Trivedi (India): “Alchemy of Earning Money through Wastes and Making a Village Clean, Hygienic and Lovely”
- The bi-annual WASH Media Awards competition is sponsored by the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC) and the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI).
More than 150 entries from 40 countries were evaluated by a jury chaired by: Mr. Mark Tran, a notable international correspondent for The Guardian, UK. The jury included Mrs. Faz da Hall, Executive Producer Channel Africa, SABC, South Africa, Mr. Jon Sawyer, Executive Director, Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, USA. Mr. Olivier Nyirubugara, Senior Trainer Voices of Africa Media Foundation, Rwanda/Netherlands and Ms. Vinaya Deshpande, The Hindu, India.
The Journalists will receive their awards during a ceremony, on 31 August 2012 at the World Water Week in Stockholm, Sweden