Environmental reporting in West Africa remains a challenge

By Joseph Checky Abuje

While Africa is rallying policies and frameworks on environmental conservation so that this is prioritized in all socio-economic development, west Africa is, however, lagging behind the rest of the continent.

In Liberia and Senegal for instance, governments do not have formulated policies that support Environmental conservation, hence anti-environment activities are on the rise.

Addressing the fourth Africa conference for science journalists, Adolphus Mawolo said journalists in the two West African countries have not given much attention to environmental reporting, adding that both Liberia and Senegal governments do not have robust policies to address environmental issues.

Adolphus noted that environmental hazards such as natural gas exploration as well as unregulated gold mining and deforestation defeat the need for conservation of the environment. He said demand for farming, poor farming practices as well as increased deforestation have resulted in desertification.

“Despite efforts by Science journalists to highlight the ills of environment destruction, our efforts have always been defeated by the government forces” observed Adolphus.

In Botswana, the story runs on the same script. Despite good information flow in Botswana, journalists prefer political stories to environmental reporting.

According to Irene Shone, the lack of emphasis on conservation by the Botswana government is a reason journalists run for political beats as opposed to the environment.

Felix Mwakyembe Says lack of interest and sound policies hinder Environmental reporting in Tanzania.