The symposium was facilitated by Mr Frederick Asiamah, a WASH Advocate and member of GWJN. In his presentation, participants were taken through the techniques for WASH reporting beginning with the events that happen around them. Recognising the importance of the sector, he gave the statistical background of how state-owned print media had fared in reporting the issues of WASH between 2007 and 2011. This underscored the need to get more journalists interested in WASH issues in order to enhance awareness creation and to contribute to the change so desired in the country.
The WASH Journalism Initiative dubbed “Ma wie; my WASH concerns” in the Ga language which translates “I will speak my WASH concerns” seeks to inspire up-and-coming journalists to develop interest in environmental and developmental issues. To this end, students could pick topics in WASH and develop stories during their long vacation and internship. Many of them showed interest in participation and picked up entry forms to the competition. In his remarks the immediate past Vice National Coordinator of GWJN, Mr. Edmund Smith-Asante advised students to specialise in the areas of writing instead of reporting on every issue. Mr. Smith-Asante, an active member of the GWP-WA and IUCN regional network of journalists, called on the students to recognise the WASH Journalism initiative as an avenue to better their skills and develop interest in environmental issues and finally declared the Initiative duly launched.
The Executive Secretary of the Ghana Country Water Partnership, Maxwell Boateng-Gyimah, in his closing remarks encouraged the students to take advantage of the present initiative in order to create opportunities for themselves.