CCIJ Round Up: Lesotho’s Water Woes

A Michigan journalist reports on a rural community’s faulty water supply. Open Up Operations Manager Lailah Ryklief talks diversity, women in tech and responsibility. A new water story out of Lesotho investigates a company draining the water supply of rural villagers. CCIJ is invited to speak at the African Investigative Journalism Conference.

Villagers struggle for water as big business cashes in on Mountain Kingdom’s “green gold”

CCIJ members Ruona Meyer and Billy Ntaote investigate a company that is draining rural villages in Lesotho of their water supply a year after the country declared a drought emergency. Along with providing villagers their drinking water supply, the natural water springs from which the MG Health extracts from are also known to have “healing powers” and are used for traditional medicine purposes. MG Health has built fences around these water sources, keeping healers, animal herders and other villagers from accessing them at all.

Read the whole story here.



Just how do you deal with sources who show no interest in speaking to you, and then later get back to you after the story is published?

In this podcast, host Winston Mwale speaks to Joshua Vissers, Associate Editor of the Mining Gazette, a US online publication, about his story “Residents of Cole’s Creek Road left out to dry.” 

The residents are accusing the the Houghton County Road Commission for cutting off their water supply with no warning, but HCRC says they did nothing wrong. When Joshua was gathering facts of the story, some sources declined to speak to him, but later accused him of “leaving out some facts.”

So, how did Joshua go about it? Above all, how did he learn about the story itself? Take a listen.

Listen to the whole episode here.

Residents of Cole’s Creek Road left out to dry

Cole’s Creek Road residents still waterless, concerned for Covid-19

Cole’s Creek Road water supply slips through cracks

Transparency Talks

Open Up Operations Manager Lailah Ryklief talks about how her diverse background has influenced her professional direction, what being a woman in the field of civic tech has meant to her, and how seriously she takes the responsibility with which she has been entrusted.

Listen to the whole episode here.

AIJC Water Meeting

CCIJ has been invited to lead a conversation about our H2OFail project at the African Investigative Journalism Conference.

Launched at the 2018 AIJC, CCIJ’s H2OFail project has seen stories published from countries throughout Southern and West Africa and sparked the launch of our Waterless podcast. Please join us to hear from the journalists who have carried out this impactful work and to discuss next steps in this ongoing project.

Join us on Tuesday, October 20 at 5:30 PM SA at this link.

CCIJ members will be featured in two other sessions at AIJC this year. More information about those sessions is listed below.

Collaborative Journalism

Friday, October 23, 2020

2:00 PM-3:00 PM

More and more of our investigations require us to work in teams, collaborating across borders and other divisions. We take a look at some successful case studies and the challenges faced in working as large teams.


Motunrayo Alaka, Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer, Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism

Peter Mwesige, Executive Director, African Centre for Media Excellence

Jeff Kelly Lowenstein, Founder/Executive Director, CCIJ; Padnos/Sarosik Endowed Professor of Civil Discourse, GVSU, Center for Collaborative Investigative Journalism/Grand Valley State University

Sharon Ijasan, Senior Reporter, Tvc NEWS

World’s best data stories; and case study: cracking open the SA lottery

A round-up of data journalism highlights of the past year, looking at some of the best stories and data visualisations; followed by a case study on the data work behind a series of stories on lottery corruption.


Alastair Otter, IT Coordinator, GIJN

Adi Eyal, OpenUp

Raymond Joseph, Journalist, Freelance

Siyabonga Africa (Facilitator), Program Officer, SAMIP