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Climate Change Reporting Project

A Collaboration between the West African Journalists Association and the Mano River Union Civil Society Natural Resources Governance Platform


The West African Journalists Association (WAJA) is partnering with the Mano River Union Natural Resources Rights and Governance Platform (MRU CSO Platform) to jointly undertake the documentation of the human sufferings and impact of the Climate Change Crisis in West Africa and the Sahel.

The MRU-CSO Platform is a network of environmental and human rights defenders; indigenous, urban slums and squatter communities; communities affected by the operations of multinational corporations; labor unions and poor informal entrepreneurs on the frontline of corporate investments in West Africa. Its membership is, as as of now, drawn from nine of the sixteen countries in West Africa (Liberia, Sierra Leone, La Cote D’Ivoire, Guinea, Ghana, Mali, Nigeria, Niger and Senegal), but the project will take place in all the countries across the region.

WAJA is a sub-regional media rights organization that brings together journalists’ unions and/or associations across West Africa. 

Brief Background

The 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference, also known as COP26, is the 26th United Nations Climate Change conference, scheduled to be held in the city of Glasgow from 1 to 12 November 2021 under the presidency of the United Kingdom.

The conference is set to incorporate the 26th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the 16th meeting of the parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP16), and the third meeting of the parties to the Paris Agreement (CMA3). This conference is the first time that Parties are expected to commit to enhance ambition since COP21.

Parties are required to carry out every five years, as outlined in the Paris Agreement, a process colloquially known as the “ratchet mechanism.”

Under the Paris Agreement, countries submitted intended nationally determined contributions, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions compared to a “business as usual” scenario. Since the Paris Agreement was signed in 2015, at the United Nations Climate Change Conference, the conference of 2020 was set to be the first iteration of the “ratchet mechanism.” Future iterations will also take into account the “global stock take,” the first of which is in 2023.

The Climate Crisis

As most of you are aware, when you hear about the climate Crisis, all you see is the melting of the ice cap in the north and south poles and the polar bears. Rarely do you hear about droughts, insect pest infestations, forest fires (in fact, there are more forest fires occurring in Africa than anywhere else around the world but you hardly hear about these issues), crop failures, extreme temperatures, erratic rain falls, changing and drying of rivers, streams, creeks, lakes (lake chad for example is dying), food insecurity and migrations.

We want to talk a bit more about migration. There are more migrations in Africa then the few thousands that cross over from the Mediterranean to Europe and the Caravan from South and Central America to the United States – yet this is what the western media reports.

Just think about displacements from the Sahel alone, there are more than 15 million IDPs. Imagine the headlines when 15 million people would be descending on Europe or the United States! But this is happening right here in Africa!

Besides migrations, there are conflicts: extremism, criminal gangs and bandits, inter communal conflict, the herder-farmer conflicts, land conflicts, water conflicts, border conflicts, etc. We also have increased disease incidence, sea and coastal erosion, seaweed evasions, reduction in fish catches, deforestation, etc. This is the scale of the climate situation in West Africa that requires a collective fight.

Overall Goal

The goal is to change the narratives of the Climate Crisis and draw the attention of the world to what is happening in Africa. It is time we began writing our own histories. The Frontline for the Climate Crisis is right here in Africa.

So, WAJA will partner with the MRU CSO Platform to document some of these human sufferings across the 16 West African countries.


Through its local affiliates (unions/associations), WAJA will identify Journalists in each of the countries capable of documenting and producing a comprehensive story. The reporter will then identify a community and a number Frontline Grassroots Defenders and document how those communities are impacted by the Climate Crisis.  The journalist will write both an article not less than one thousand five hundred words and then do a video documentary of not more than five minutes on the human sufferings of those communities in West Africa and the Sahel at the frontline of the Climate Crisis.

Small Grant

MRU CSO Platform, through its Secretariat hosted by Green Advocates International-Liberia, will provide small grants to the selected journalists, of Two Hundred ($200.00) United States Dollars for each of the reports (article and video) to undertake this task. This amount might be extremely small, but this is the sacrifice that each of us need to make to draw attention to the looming crisis Africa is facing that the rest of the world is ignoring.


The journalists (WAJA) and the MRU CSO Platform will release these articles and video documentaries in two phases. The first one will be produced and released in September and the other in the last week of October, just before the opening of the UN Climate Change Conference in the city of Glasgow from 1 to 12 November 2021.

The journalists are expected to release their work on their various outlets online and offline. WAJA and the MRU CSO Platform will also share the articles and videos on their respective websites and/or social media platforms to give the work the needed visibility.

Country Stories

Burkina Faso

Pesticide use in Bougouriba: the Cornelian Dilemma of Producers

Download PDF (English)

Published Article (French)

La Cote D’Ivoire

Attention to forest cover

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Published Article (French)

The Gambia

Windstorm: 2 died in Njawara, 35,329 internally displaced countrywide

Download PDF (English)

Published Article (English)


Ghana Uses Solar Power Plant to Manage Drought Threatened Bui Hydroelectric Dam

Download PDF (English)

Published Article (English)


Monoculture of Caju Causes Invaluable Damage in the Forest Reserve

Download PDF (English)

Published Article (Portuguese)


Poor Rainfall in Konodimini and Sidabougou: People Under the Threat of Severe Famine

Download PDF (English)

Published Article


Fish Scarcity: The Days When Officials Could Envy Fishermen Are Over

Download PDF (English)

Published Article (French)

Sierra Leone

Freetown’s Major Source of Water Under Attack!

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Published Article (English)


Coastal Erosion in Togo, Chaos and Desolation on the Bank

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Published Article (French)