Ugochi Anyaka-Oluigbo Wins 2022 Covering Climate Now Journalism Award

Ugochi Anyaka-Oluigbo has won a 2022 Covering Climate Now Journalism Award in the ‘Audio – Long Feature’ category announced on June 16, 2022.

Ugochi is one of the 23 winners of the award, which received over 900 entries in this year’s edition.

Her winning story, “We don’t have the power to fight it”, highlighted how climate change was upending people’s lives in three regions of Nigeria.

Ugochi Anyaka-Oluigbo has been covering environmental issues in Africa for over a decade, and her extensive access to local people yields eyewitness testimony about how government neglect and lack of rain is sparking violent conflicts between livestock herders and crop farmers competing for the same land and water. Women in the market describe food scarcity and skyrocketing food prices as agricultural production has declined because farmers fear deadly attacks.

Displaced farmers are moving to the capital, Lagos, but there too climate threats abound: rising seas submerge shanty towns; villagers see their homes and heritage swept away.

Her feature was presented by the podcast series Scene on Radio, which, in 2021, its fifth season, looked at the climate crisis globally.

In that episode’s introduction, co-host Amy Westervelt told listeners:

“Analysts consistently say Africans, per capita, have contributed the least to the problem of climate change, and the continent is the most vulnerable to climate chaos.”

Speaking to FIJ on her award, she said:

“By this award, I hope that the voices of the most vulnerable in Africa and other gravely impacted communities get better amplified so businesses, global leaders and influential individuals understand the urgency of the climate and environmental crises.

The award isn’t for me; it’s for the people who have let me into their lives and their spaces to tell their stories.”

Ugochi currently works as a freelance reporter and serves as environmental resource person on BBC News,Channels News, Arise TV, TVC News and News Central.

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