CCIJ Round Up: Namibia’s Grape Farmers Face Water Woes

Workers on Namibian vineyards face extreme water scarcity. Water crises continue to wreak havoc in Bulawayo. An investigative unit appointed by South Africa’s president raids National Lotteries Commission offices for evidence of corruption. A story on water conservation in Las Vegas, Nevada continues to make an impact.

Grape crop brings in millions, but farm workers live a harsh life 

In a new article for CCIJ’s H2OFail project, Sonja Smith explores the working conditions of farmers on Namibian vineyards who are underpaid and face extreme water scarcity. The problem, Smith writes, has led to the deaths of 15 farmers since 2006. Workers on the farms have been asking for help from the government for years and extreme drought throughout Namibia may be enough to push officials into action, but residents are still skeptical of any real change. 

Read the full story here.

Water crisis ravages City of Kings 

The city of Bulawayo, Zimbabwe is facing a myriad of water crises, including contaminated water that has led to a diarrhea outbreak that killed 13 people in July and infected more than 2,000 others. Climate change, writes Brezhnev Malaba, has caused severe drought, drying up many water sources throughout the city, forcing many to collect their water from unsafe sources. The burden of collecting water is typically put on women, who often encounter intense violence along their journeys, including physical and sexual assault. Bulawayo’s water woes have spurred many to action, creating a “water crisis committee” made up of politicians and citizens who aim to find solutions to the crisis. 

Read the full story here.

Special Investigating Unit raids National Lotteries Commission office

The central offices of the National Lotteries Commission in South Africa were raided last week by a Special Investigating Unit appointed by President Cyril Ramaphosa following a years-long investigation by CCIJ South African Hub Leader Raymond Joseph. Joseph and his team at GroundUp have exposed widespread corruption within the commission dating back to 2014. 

Hear more about the recent raids here

Catch up on CCIJ’s global investigation into the lottery, Gaming the Lottery, here.

Las Vegas Water 

While the city of Las Vegas, Nevada prides itself on becoming a model for water conservation across the U.S. Southwest, it may not be able to offset the other thing Las Vegas is known for: Greed. CCIJ member Fredrick Clayton writes that the most affluent residents of the city often refuse to comply with local water conservation laws, simply because they can afford to pay the fines. The city and the surrounding region have made great strides, but there is still work to be done. 

Read the story, recently republished in both LA Progressive and Pressenza.