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Kenya, 23 July 2012: Story of drought and food insecurity in Kenya wins first-ever UNICEF-sponsored CNN MultiChoice TV News Bulletin Award

NAIROBI, Kenya, 23 July 2012 – A news report featuring the impact of drought and food insecurity in Kenya today won a UNICEF-sponsored Television News Bulletin Award at the CNN MultiChoice African Journalist of the Year Award Ceremony held in Lusaka, Zambia.

Reporter Nimrod Taabu Mwagamoyo and Cameraman Charles Kinyua Kariuki of NTV Kenya received the Award for their “Portraits of Pain” series highlighting the plight of Barpello village in East Pokot, Kenya, where severe drought and food insecurity has rendered water so scarce that residents are forced to rely on a single, heavily-contaminated water-source.

The pastoralist community shares this dam with their animals that not only drink from it but also pollute the water further with their own waste. The television feature echoes the residents’ appeal to save them from trekking long distances in search of clean water, and from consuming unsafe water that has rendered them perpetually vulnerable to disease.

Today marks the first time that UNICEF has supported the CNN MultiChoice African Journalist of the Year Award.

UNICEF Regional Director for Eastern and Southern Africa, Elhadj As Sy, who presented the award to the finalists, expressed gratitude to the African journalists for their role in uncovering and reporting on critical issues that deeply affect children across the continent.

“Important progress has been made for children in Africa over the years in reducing child mortality. However, progress has not been uniform and inequalities exist between and within countries,” Mr. Sy said during the awards ceremony. “UNICEF is committed to empowering countries with technical support, capacity-building and mechanisms for monitoring and evaluation to help them reduce sickness and death among children. UNICEF is also committed to work in partnership with governments, non-governmental and civil society organizations, the private sector, donors, and of course, the media to reach every child, everywhere, particularly those hardest to reach and most vulnerable.”

Mr. Sy applauded the role of journalists in highlighting the multiple obstacles to the survival, health and wellbeing of children in Africa in the media, and in provoking debate and discussion to address them. He said, “Media professionals are key partners for us when it comes to advocating for the realization and protection of children’s rights. Journalists have a crucial role to play in illustrating and explaining these challenges and their impact, particularly, on those children who are most excluded from progress and access to basic social services. Without a transparent and open media environment, it would be almost impossible to effectively tackle the challenges children in Africa face.”

The Award was established in August 1995 to encourage, promote and recognize excellence in African journalism. It is now in its 17th year.



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