Water Spouts will speak volubly and endlessly about all the issues concerning water. The ongoing degradation, and growing scarcity, of the water supply here in the US, and the rest of the world. The continued absence of potable water in so many parts of the world. The work being done by NGOs, and charities, in the third world, to help alleviate the situation. The emphasis on WASH ( Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene ) so health and healthy water are maintained. "Water Spouts" will spout it all out.
In Wadata, a neighborhood in Makurdi, Nigeria, water comes from the
Benue River. The pump feeding these hoses floats in the river, amid
garbage and human waste. Image by Peter Sawyer. 2011.
West Africa has some of the
lowest rates of access to safe drinking water in the world.
Governments, private contractors, UN agencies and international
non-government organizations (NGOs) have spent billions of dollars to
address the problem. But success is elusive, and the challenge is only
becoming more severe. Populations are growing, people are moving from
farms to cities, and city planning is chaotic.
The reasons cited for failure are varied and numerous, from
inadequate funds and mismanagement to corruption, lack of spare parts,
no local buy-in, and weak institutions. At same time, everyone claims to
have the latest and most promising solution to the challenge.
Missing from the flood tide of PR and spin are local, objective
voices with international reach that can distinguish high-level rhetoric
from baseless posturing and good intentions from good results.
The Pulitzer Center is partnering with journalists from four
countries in West Africa: Nigeria, Ghana, Ivory Coast, and Liberia. In
mid-October two American journalists traveled to the region to report
alongside them. The results are published in the journalists’ home
outlets, American media, and here on the Pulitzer Center website.
Ameto Akpe, print reporter, investigates Nigeria's water emergency
in the context of the oil-rich country's opaque financial management
structure and policies. She highlights Nigerians who suffer the impact
of a faulty water system while their leaders, often a stone's throw
away, enjoy benefits that could be available to all.
In Liberia, radio reporter Tecee Boley takes issue with President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf,
the Nobel laureate who has served as the Goodwill Ambassador for Water,
Sanitation and Hygiene in Africa since 2009. Local news reports praise
the government for bringing water to previously thirsty slums, but
visits to these neighborhoods found that residents are still waiting.
Samuel Agyemang, national TV anchor for MetroTV in Ghana, will take
his camera to a long-established community in the capital, Accra, that
has been without water for two decades and only now receives
intermittent service. The director of the water company claims he is
raising capital “like nobody’s business,” but most neighborhoods aren’t
seeing change, raising questions about Ghana’s status as a darling of