Reporting on Rising Rift Valley Lakes in Eastern Africa: Key Lessons for Journalists

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Reporting on Rising Rift Valley Lakes in Eastern Africa: Key Lessons for Journalists

Rift Valley lakes span from the north in Ethiopia to the south in Malawi, cutting through Eastern Africa. These lakes came to be through geological processes forming basins on the earth’s surface that eventually filled up with water. The ecosystems of these lakes have for years supported livelihoods for communities, mainly through tourism, since they are home to thousands of bird species and other wildlife.

But the lakes’ existence is now being threatened by the ‘rising lakes phenomenon’ that is submerging formerly dry land, increasing human-wildlife conflict and creating a new category of internally displaced persons. Experts have noted that the increase in water levels has not been witnessed in the last 50 years.

In fact, some of these lakes were on the verge of extinction 10 years ago due to drought. So why is the water rising now and what role can journalists play in filling the information gaps around this phenomenon? To answer that question and more, the Earth Journalism Network and Egerton University are teaming up to bring together experts for a virtual workshop to share key lessons that journalists need to keep in mind while reporting on this phenomenon.

Speakers:

  • Professor Bockline Bebe: Deputy Vice Chancellor, Research Division, Egerton University (email)
  • James Fahn: Executive Director, Earth Journalism Network
  • Professor Gilbert Obwoyere: Associate Professor of Landscape Ecology and Ecosystem, Egerton University (email)
  • Dr. Thecla Mutia: Environment and Natural Resource Scientist, Geothermal Development Company, Kenya (email)
  • Brygettes Ngana: NTV Rift Valley Regional Reporter (email)
     

Moderator:

  • Kioko wa Kivandi: Journalist and Journalism Trainer, Egerton University
     

Resources:

  • KWS rescue endangered giraffes stranded on Lake Baringo island (NTV Kenya)
  • In deep waters: Insatiable appetite for timber threatens springs that give life to River Subukia (NTV Kenya)

 

Please click on the speakers' names, where applicable, to download their presentations.

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