Client: Center for Collaborative Investigative Journalism
This story was originally pitched as one about the village of Gunjur's residents testing their water supply to prove the government was providing unsafe water, despite official claims to the contrary. The CCIJ data investigation revealed extensive problems with the water supply throughout the entire country and we set out to document the reality of a nation where 73% of the population has E. coli in their drinking water.
Much of this story had to be discovered on the ground by the reporting team themselves. We had the basics of the story, thanks to our data investigation, but largely left discovery up to Jason Florio, the photographer, and Lamin Jahateh, the reporter. Much of the field reporting was driven by the photographer's dogged efforts to find circumstances that showed how the residents of two villages coped with unsanitary conditions as examples of the systemic infrastructure failure throughout the country. Gripping images, both aesthetically and narratively, drove the story to reveal, in stark terms, the severity of the circumstances suffered by so many Gambians.
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