By: WASH R&E Network – A 3 day Training workshop aimed at increasing the understanding and interest of Journalists in reporting on the water, sanitation and hygiene sector of Liberia opened Thursday in Monrovia, the Liberian.
Speaking at the start of the WASH Media Workshop, WaterAid Team Leader for Liberia and Sierra Leone, Mr. Apollos Nwafor, said his entity considers water and sanitation as essential to human development.
Mr. Nwafor therefore called on the WASH Journalists to focus their reporting on WASH issues and how it relates to human development.
In a dispatch from the WASH R&E, the WaterAid Team leader said it is the duty of the media to ensure that politicians and other key actors in the country make good their promises concerning the WASH Sector of Liberia.
Mr. Apollos urged WASH Journalists to also highlight the plight of the disabled and the less fortunate in their reportage due to the lack of safe drinking water and improved sanitation.
He cautioned the WASH Journalists to use the work as a reflection of their responsibilities to instigate government to put in place the requisite WASH programs that would create an enabling WASH environment.
He also reminded Liberia WASH Media Practitioners to build a character of public trust as they go about performing their reportorial duties.
According to Mr. Nwafor, if the public put its trust in the media, then it will give more responsibilities to the media to perform.
He urged the Journalists to seek means through which they can gain and maintain public trust, noting that one of the surest ways of media practitioners gaining the confidence of the masses is through their reportage.
For his part, the Chairman of the WASH Reporters & Editors Network of Liberia, Mr. Augustine N. Myers, disclosed that Day one of the WASH Training workshop targets reporters, while Day two is for editors. Mr. Myers further disclosed that the third Day of the WASH Journalism Training will primarily be an interactive forum amongst WASH Reporters and Editors to brainstorm on the way forward aimed at increasing media focus on water, sanitation and hygiene.
During the WASH Media Training sessions, several presentations were made.
The president of the Press Union of Liberia (PUL), Peter Quaqua lectured on the topic “Key tips to make stories interesting and newsworthy-A Focus of WASH Journalism” while WaterAid Team Leader, Apollos Nwafor also spoke on the topic:”Doing Business: Influencing Change-Media Advocacy on WASH”.
The Chairman of Liberia Civil Society Organizations WASH Network, Prince D. Kreplah made a presentation on the Topic:”National and International Polices, Commitments and campaigns ” while Mr. Charles B. Coffey Jr. News Director of the Liberia Broadcasting System (LBS)and Press Union of Liberia Secretary General, lectured on the topic:”Investigative Reporting :How it fits the WASH Sector.
Participants has an interactive discussion with the facilitators through questions, answers and suggestions.
The Workshop held under the theme: “Increasing Media Focus on Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH)”, was held in the conference room of the WASH Reporters & Editors Network of Liberia, Carey Street-Crown Hill, Central Monrovia.
It was sponsored by WaterAid in Liberia and Sierra Leone with 45 participants (15 each day) coming from major media institutions in Montserrado, County.
speaking on behalf of the participants, Mr. Trouble Suah of the New Dawn Newspaper and Mr. Edward Fayiah of the Daily Observer Newspaper lauded the sponsor, organizers and facilitators of the workshop for helping to increase their knowledge and interest in WASH sector.
They assured that skills and knowledge gained would be used to help improve human development, especially the appalling condition of water, sanitation and hygiene in Liberia, coupled with WASH Media education, awareness and advocacy.