NTV features reporter Rose Wangui is the winner of the Knight International Journalism Awards 2019.
International Centre for Journalists (ICFJ) in Washington, DC made the announcement on Tuesday night.
Wangui unearths stories about tough or taboo subjects that no one else dares to touch. ICFJ added stories have led to major improvements in the conditions she brings to light.
Ms Wangui won the award jointly with Organised Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) regional editor Stevan Dojcinovic.
The award honours journalists who, despite difficult circumstances, produce pioneering news reports or innovations that make an impact on the lives of their countries or regions. Recipients include reporters, editors, technologists, media managers or citizen journalists
The two will be awarded during the ICFJ’s 35th Anniversary Awards Dinner on November 7 in Washington, DC.
Lake Nakuru Fishers Still Adamant Despite Ban on Fishing
Residents say fishing in flooded area has thrown them a new economic lifeline
When Lake Nakuru burst its banks in March 2021, the distraught residents of Mwariki, Barut constituency had to move to safer grounds. Over 200 families were displaced, and their farming land was rendered useless.
Today, things are different as the residents turn to fish in the expanded lake to eke out their living.
“When the floods came, we had to look for alternative places to live. Some of us had to demolish our houses and close down our businesses. It was a hard time for us,” says Freshia Muthoni, a resident at Mwariki who was displaced from her home by the floods.
Freshia says now fishing has thrown them a new economic lifeline since most farmers whose land was submerged by the floods have invested in boats and fishing nets.
The fishermen go fishing in the wee hours of the morning to secure their catch. Fishing in Mwariki has since become a booming business despite the government’s efforts to curb any fishing activities in Lake Nakuru. Scientists are blaming the flooding, which has expanded the lake to people’s homes and farmlands to climate change. Years of environmental degradation, pollution, and deforestation are affecting the biodiversity of Lake Nakuru.
However, the residents see the flooding as a blessing in disguise. Florence Waruguru, another resident of Mwariki, says that fishing in Lake Nakuru has been a relief to those who lost their land to floods.
“Our land is submerged underwater. We can no longer grow anything on it. Fortunately, the water came with plenty of fish, which we now sell to meet our needs. The fish helps us to feed and even educate our children,” she says.
However, fishing in Lake Nakuru has not been without its challenges. The residents complain of the policemen’s harassment as they confiscate their nets and fish.
“We do not understand why they take away our fish and nets. Some of them demand bribes and when we cannot pay them, they take away our fish. For us, we plan to continue fishing until the government relocates us to other places,” says Freshia.
Early this year, the Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute (Kmfri) banned fishing in the lake, citing that the fish in Lake Nakuru is contaminated with toxic components.
According to the Kmfri report, the fish in Lake Nakuru can cause adverse effects on humans if consumed over a long period. This is because of the sewage and runoff water from the county drains into the lake.
The fishers, however, will hear none of this, saying that they have consumed Lake Nakuru’s fish for a long time without any harm. Some fishmongers at the lakeside have come from different counties to earn a living in the now extended lake.
Even as the fishing continues, there is doubt on its impact on the exotic species of fish in Lake Nakuru.
‘Holy Water’, Covid-19 Cure Controversy
There is a division in Legio Maria of African Church Mission after some of them alleged knowledge in Coronavirus treatment. Here is a story of how extremist belief in religion has propelled Covid-19 disinformation.
Academic Research Writer: My laptop Built This house, Cars
Ignorant Kenyans are often very quick to label smart-working Kenyans as thieves or ‘Illuminati’, especially when they fail to understand the source of your wealth.
Well, you must have heard about Academic Research Writing; a field that many jobless Kenyan graduates have found solace.
Here, you only need a brain, computer, and internet connectivity and then boom, money starts flowing and so ‘illuminati’ you become.
One writer Caleb Machunga took to Facebook Tuesday to encourage fellow writers that a laptop can not only pay bills but also build decent houses and buy cars.
“In the spirit of encouraging others on what writing has done to some of us: You see, the laptop right there brought everything in this picture into being.
It built my mama that house, bought the two cars, built my ka mansion (behind me in the photo), and erected that perimeter wall,” Machunga explained.
He went on to say that in just a few years past, even a semi-permanent toilet would not be erected in their compound due to lack of finances.
“I will even feel ashamed to post a photo of the mud house that we grew up in. In short, I cannot even state the intensity of what writing has done to some of us who grew up as poor as f*,” he said.
Commentators hailed Machunga for the mighty strides he has made thanks to ‘the power of the laptop’, with some taking it as a challenge upon themselves and posting their achievements in tow. Most of which being ongoing construction works and cars.
A witty commentator Patrick David said, “hope the villagers are not accusing you of being a thief or Illuminati, now that it may be hard for them to understand the keyboard hustle.”
McOkelo Koks reported how he hopelessly operated a bodaboda upcountry despite being a graduate. His breakthrough, however, he said, came upon joining the writing industry in late 2018.
“I remember buying my car in May 2020 and I did not even know how to drive. Funny, right? As for shamba, tayari nimenunua nne. Kujenga nyumba iko in progress,” Koks reported.
Rhino Marx said that the writing industry is a tough one, the prospective fruits notwithstanding.
“Accept to lose a lot of your free time. Dive deep into the hustle and forget the world. Have a positive attitude and be a man of integrity,” Marx reacted.
The academic writing trade involving bidding for and writing academic papers for students abroad at a fee. They can be undergraduate or postgraduate.
Writers work from home and people who are accustomed to the tradition of people making money by working in big offices or in the field do not really understand how. Some writers have been suspected to be thieves.
On the other hand, though, the business is considered academic fraud. A past media investigation unearthed that Oxford University professors had their dissertations written in Nairobi by jobless graduates. But who are Kenyans and their hustling spirit?
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