WaterAid Nigeria in collaboration with YouthWASH Nigeria and other CSO partners at the national and state level has organised a 2-day Media and Bloggers workshop on the implementation of its citizens’ engagement project themed “Vote4WASH Campaign. Vote4WASH campaign which aimed at moblising citizens to demand for the change they desire with their votes come 2015 elections in Nigeria.
The workshop which kicked off today 18th December, will end tommorow 19th in Abuja is aimed at improving the understanding of the WASH Media Network and selected bloggers on WASH on issues so as to position them with necessary support to effectively engage and report for improved WASH service and coverage during VoteWASH campaigns which will be focusing on advocacy and campaigning for water and sanitation to various levels of stakeholders in Nigeria during the forthcoming general elections process.
Other objectives for the Media and bloggers is to also seek support and bloggers in the Vote4WASH campaign;
– To promote WASH issues and its impact on human development as news worthy
– Provide WASH media platform to share their plans for WASH campaign during the forthcoming election and explore areas/opportunities for collaboration as well as strengthening capacity of journalists in the network for excellent and updated reportage skills.
“Statistic has shown that between 2011 and 2014, Nigeria has lost 455 billion Naira equivalent 1.3 percent of its GDP to illness and Death caused as a result of lack of sanitation and basic hygiene.” said Mr Saheed, WaterAid Nigeria, programme coordinator, during his presentation. He further that water cannot be divorced from other developmental issues such as education, basic healthcare delivery as well as other social and economic development. As a matter of fact, lack of access to potable clean water has been linked to various challenges bedeviling the developing countries across the world today particularly in Africa, he explained.
Saheed further shed more lights on wide range of WASH issues in Nigeria and by extension Africa; he buttressed these issues and why should every Nigerian citizens should care about WASH. He concluded by giving analyis on the fact that lack of access to potable water is a crisis driven not by scarcity but inequality.
Nature Obiakor while addressing the media practitioners and bloggers at the workshop alluded that Vote4WASH campaign will not only afford every Nigerian citizens the oppurtnities to demand for their basic human right which includes water, sanitation and hygiene, but would also help create an avenue to engage these political aspirants/electoral candidates and hold them accountable should they fail to redeem their pledges to masses in their manifestos. “Vote4WASH campaign will not only end at the conclusion of the 2015 general election, it continues after election, because there are still post elections programmes for Vote4WASH, those we voted for must deliver on their promises” he affirmed. He spoke on the impacts of sharing campaign messages such a tweet-a-thon and infographics as an effective campaign tool. He concluded that the overall goal of #Vote4WASH campaign is to help that over 121 million Nigerians who still lack acess to water, sanitation and hygienet ahead 2015 elections.
The high point of workshop was the presentation deliver by renowned social media strategist, Mr Babatope Babalobi. He shared knowlegde as proffesional blogger with many success stories. Taking the participants through the rudiments of good blogging such as sourcing stories, challenges embedded in blogging; attracting audience to your blogsite as well as commercial value of blogging.
Twee-athon session which include creating messages around Vote4WASH and tweeting them for effective reach-out strategy were also part of the workshop.