Ep 5: Mayor Otu
Akwaowo “Mayor” Otu is a documentary photographer from Nigeria, who holds a degree in Biochemistry, but has pursued photography to great heights, even publishing a book on street photography. His intimate documentation of the lives of waterless people living in Ruga Katampe, a community mostly made of nomads in Nigeria’s capital city, Abuja, went viral after he posted the pictures on his Instagram account. The community needed N500,000 (about $1300) to get a borehole for clean drinking water. Mayor’s series, which he called “Water of Katampe” was acknowledged by Water Aid; he tells Ruona Meyer that the renowned international agency said it was unable to help the people of Katampe because they had exhausted their funding. Undeterred, Mayor tweeted at a Nigerian bank.
Ep 4: Winston Mwale
Today’s guest is Winston Mwale. Mwale is a CCIJ member and the founder and editor of Africa Brief, a news aggregator for stories about Africa. A veteran journalist, Mwale has years of experience across east and southern Africa– and beyond. He has racked up cross-continental bylines and regional awards on this journey. He specializes in investigative and solutions journalism. In this episode, Mwale discusses his work as a journalist and his new story that explores the women fighting for water from unprotected wells in Malawi.
Ep 3: Freddie Clayton
Today, Ruona speaks with CCIJ member Fredrick “Freddie” Clayton, a former civil servant turned journalist. Freddie recently flew from London to the U.S. to meet who he called the “water cops” in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Ep 2: Sonja Smith
Our guest today is Sonja Smith, a freelance investigative journalist at Namibia’s biggest newspaper, called the Namibian. Smith is also a correspondent for the Associated Press and since 2013 she has broken high profile political stories, racking up front page leads consistently. With host Ruona Meyer, Smith discusses her experience as a freelance journalist and her most recent story– published in collaboration with CCIJ– about Waterless people in Namibia who are dying trying to collect water for themselves and their families. Read Smith’s story, Dying for a Drop.
Ep 1: Khaled Sulaiman
Khaled Sulaiman has a special relationship with water. In our first episode, he speaks with host and CCIJ Social Media Director Ruona Meyer about that relationship that stretches back to his early childhood and his new book, “Guardians of the Water: Drought and Climate Change in Iraq.”
In March 2020, Volume co-founder Paul McNally reached out to CCIJ Founder and Executive Director Jeff Kelly Lowenstein around the possibility of working on a podcast. This led to a conversation with Volume co-founder Roland Perold and CCIJ’s Social Media Head Ruona Meyer. Originally discussing a single podcast, the combined team eventually came up with the idea of two distinct podcasts: The Waterless and Transparency Talks. Meyer and Kelly Lowenstein have served as the hosts while McNally has handled the editing. CCIJ Interns Jane Johnston and Abigail Goldberg-Zelizer have contributed with the music, logos and distribution plans. Based on an ethos and practice of collaboration, CCIJ is proud to be partnering with Volume on this venture, and see this as the first step in an ongoing relationship.