Client: Center for Collaborative Investigative Journalism
While the water-rich country of Lesotho sells some of its massive supplies of fresh water to South Africa and Botswana, the residents of villages alongside those water supplies lack basic infrastructure and are forced to haul, in buckets, water scooped by hand from bole holes up dangerous hillsides for their daily use.
We provided this small grant for two reporters to pursue this compelling story but there would be no photographer. As is frequently the case for freelance African journalists, they had to do it all themselves. This often results in poor quality photography as most aren't trained in visual storytelling. Part of CCIJ's mission is education and mentorship to help expand and improve the skillsets of independent journalists to better position them for success in the marketplace. Before they went into the field, I gave a training session for the reporters on the essentials of visual storytelling. We discussed light, composition, action verbs vs. nouns and ways to utilize pictures to bring readers into places and circumstances in ways words could not. In the end, this team gave a nice sense of place and circumstance to the three villages to bring scale and better visceral understanding to the struggle.