CCIJ Round Up: At the mercy of “Waterpreneurs,” Nigerians face a plight of accessing clean water

“Waterpreneurs” in Nigeria upcharge community members for small bits of clean water. In times of drought, villagers of Ha Noha travel great distances to obtain water. How to turn wastewater into drinking water. NLC Commissioner misleads Parliament once again through a response regarding lottery grants in South Africa. CCIJ welcomes new members and interns. Photography training workshop on Tuesday, May 7. See what we’ve been up to!

“Waterpreneurs” in Nigeria continue to thrive as government continues to disregard the need for clean water

In Sagbo Kodji, a coastal community off of Lagos Island, access to clean water comes at a high cost, both physically and monetarily for its community members. In collaboration with the CCIJ, Festus Iyorah tells the story of this poverty-stricken community deprived of access to clean drinking water as a result of exploitative waterpreneurs and the government’s failure to address such wrongdoings. As diseases continue to plague the community and the government aspires to uproot and redevelop the island, residents of Sagbo Kodji are left in a state of uncertainty. The story is supplemented with photographs captured by Nengi Nelson and visualizations by Yuxi Wang.

Read the whole story that has been published on the CCIJ site and The Premium Times Nigeria here.

We are grateful to Winston Mwale and Raymond Joseph for organizing the publications.

Villagers struggle to obtain water, while “green gold” company experiences no shortage

As the village of Ha Noha experiences yet another season of low rainfall, in combination with the Covid-19 pandemic, the accessibility of water is distant. In their article, Billy Ntaote and Ruoana Meyer share how members of the community travel great distances to access water and oftentimes make two trips in a day to ensure that there is enough water for their family’s needs. Despite the struggles of the villagers, companies developing the “Green Gold” in Lesotho are not experiencing this same struggle. In fact, such companies are restricting villagers’ access to natural spring water through the fencing of natural springs within the village.

Read more about the village of Ha Noha and how it combats this water crisis here.

How we can turn wastewater into drinking water amidst water shortages

Although the United States of American is the wealthiest country in the world, it is still plagued with water shortages. With less water flowing down the Colorado River and an increased need for water as a result of rising temperatures, the southwest region of the country needs to develop solutions to these climate change induced problems. In his investigative piece recently published in TruthOut, Frederick Clayton tells the story of the wastewater solution adapted by different southwest areas. From Las Vegas, Nevada to Orange County, California, many cities are looking to water reuse as a solution.

Read more about water reuse in the United States here.

National lotteries commission continues to mislead parliament regarding lottery grants

CCIJ South African Hub Leader Raymond Joseph continues to produce insightful investigative work on the South African Lottery. In his latest article for GroundUp, Joseph reveals how the NLC has misled Parliament yet again. After a controversial lawyer received R60 million in lottery grants, there has been much questioning of the NLC. The NLC Commissioner’s written statement in March regarding the issue contradicted those that she made when originally questioned in July of last year. This is the latest development in Joseph’s ongoing investigation into the commission, which has contributed to CCIJ’s global “Gaming the Lottery” investigation.

Read Raymond Joseph’s full article here.

The newest addition to the CCIJ team

This month, the Center for Collaborative Investigative Journalism is incredibly fortunate to welcome our newest member to the community, Hassel Fallas. Hassel will be working as our new data editor and we could not be more excited to welcome someone so skilled to our team. Please read a short bio regarding Hassel and her accomplishments below, and join us in welcoming her to our community!

Hassel is a Costa Rican data analyst and editor. Her passion is helping journalists extract valuable information from numbers and turn it into public interest reports, with effective and creative data visualization and storytelling that enhances the content’s quality. She is a professor in Data Analytics and Data Visualization in the Master’s in Digital Journalism program at the University of Guadalajara, in Jalisco, Mexico. She is also a trainer at the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ) and an advisor in independent media and civil society organizations in Latin America. Hassel considers herself a constant and curious learner of visualization and analysis methods and techniques.

CCIJ welcomes new interns

The Center for Collaborative Investigative Journalism is thrilled to welcome two new interns, Jane Wiertel and Willa Sippel, this month.

Jane Wiertel is currently a student at Northwestern University majoring in journalism and minoring in legal studies. She possesses a passion for telling untold stories and connecting with others and is incredibly excited to take part in this with the CCIJ Team this spring. From our weekly round-ups to researching for our investigative stories, Jane has already hit the ground running since her start at the Center last week. She is looking forward to producing meaningful work through collaborating with the wonderful members of the community during her time with us.

Willa, originally from Western Massachusetts, is currently a student at Bryn Mawr College planning on majoring in public health and film. Her deep interest in documentary/photojournalism and human rights brought her to CCIJ. Previously, she focused on engaging young people on issues related to climate change, reproductive rights, and mass incarceration in local and national contexts. She is newer to the world of investigative reporting and excited to see how CCIJ’s journalism holds people, organizations, and governments accountable worldwide.

Join us in welcoming our two fantastic interns!

Photography workshop with Danny Wilcox Fraizer

On Tuesday, May 7, CCIJ will be hosting the first of its training and workshop series. The event will include a conversation and workshop with Danny Wilcox Frazier, an award-winning photographer and a member of the VII photo agency. The CCIJ is incredibly excited to start off the series this week and is looking forward to welcoming all those that attend.

To register, please email Jeff Kelly Lowenstein at by April 25.