Call for Story Grant Applications: #EverydayNile – Photo Stories and Science for Water Diplomacy

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Photo by Megan S. Lee, InfoNile

InfoNile invites photographers and photojournalists in Burundi, Democratic Republic of  Congo, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda to submit proposals for an online multimedia photojournalism campaign to communicate River Nile-related stories and scientific information. Grants to produce photo stories will be up to USD 1000.

The goal of this project is to produce a number of photo stories highlighting daily life stories around the Nile, including on water challenges and solutions. 

The produced stories will draw bigger pictures around life in the Nile Basin countries, the relationship of the people to the Nile and the water, the challenges they face and the solutions.

Photographers will also be given the chance to participate in a series of training and mentorship online workshops.


The lockdown imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic has contributed to an increasingly nationalistic involution of public debates on Nile issues, especially in Egypt and Ethiopia in relation to ongoing negotiations on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam. These have worsened since diplomats, journalists and researchers cannot travel, meet, and report from the field as much as usual. Nationalistic tones, othering discourses, and stereotypes are spreading both in mainstream and social media. 

More than ever, there is a need for nuanced and alternative views to foster mutual understanding and cooperation between Nile riparian countries. By mobilizing the power of the visual, this project will promote a different narrative, framing, and understanding of the Nile river as a shared resource that bypasses national and disciplinary boundaries. 

Through the appeal of the photo esthetics, the human stories behind technical and scientific information will be shared and promoted on social media to reach non-academic and transboundary audiences.

The photojournalists selected for this grant will also be invited to a series of online training workshops in photojournalism, storytelling, and science journalism skills, and will be mentored by top photographers throughout the program starting from December 2020.

We want you to:

  1. Submit pitches that stem from water research/science
  2. Use human and storytelling angles to tell the photo story
  3. Connect the science, research, and data to the human stories and faces in your photo story through informative and storytelling captions
  4. Be an active contributor to our EverydayNile Campaign on social media (Please see the  instagram pages: @everydayafrica, @everyday.nile, @everydayegyt,  @ihedelt and on Twitter, InfoNile

Don’t worry if you can’t do any of the above! This is what we will be working on with you in the workshops and trainings.

Here are some tips and examples for story ideas and topics that can help you understand what we are looking for in this project. Story ideas can vary depending on the subject you want to tackle in your story – here are some but not all examples that can help you to find the right story:

  • Efficient water management, particularly in the agricultural sector 
  • Improved catchment area management and safe deltas
  •  Access to clean drinking water and basic sanitation
  • Gender and inclusiveness in relation to water and development 
  • Water diplomacy with the goal to share the Nile humanely and equitably among transboundary countries and communities.
  • Water pollution 
  • Successful initiatives & innovative ideas regarding the Nile and water in your country.
  • A personal story about you as a photographer and your relationship to the Nile.

The output of the project:

  • A compelling documentary photo story that documents water stories in the Nile Basin showing people and their relation with water.
  • Publishing the photostories on the Everyday Nile account, InfoNile and WJA, and collaborating with other Everyday projects such as Everyday Egypt, Everyday Africa and others to reach a bigger audience and share the knowledge about the Nile with them.
  • Exhibiting the produced work in various water events in the Netherlands and Africa with the possibility of photographers to accompany their work.
  • Publishing the stories in different media outlets in Nile basin countries as well as InfoNile and Water Journalists Africa. Through the workshop, we will be helping to pitch your stories to be published in international media as well.

Stories can be published in other languages but should also be translated into English.

This International Photography Grant is part of the #EverydayNile project linking Nile photos, stories, and science.

This project is funded by IHE-Delft Global Partnership for Water and Development and coordinated by InfoNile/Water Journalists Africa and Everyday Nile.

How to apply:

Please submit the following to not later than 20th November 2020 (deadline extended) with the subject in the Email “ EverydayNile – first name – your country “ for example EverydayNile – John – Kenya 

  1. A one-page proposal outlining your photo story idea. Proposals should be clearly structured, stating briefly at the outset what the story idea is, followed by how and where the story will be produced, what it aims to reveal or contribute, the resources you have for the story, and the intended impact of the story. 
  2. A portfolio of your work. This  can be an online link or a PDF file send via email
  3. Instagram handle if existed
  4. Camera & equipment you have
  5. A moderate proposed budget of no more than 1000 USD
  6. A resumé/CV;

Successful applicants will be notified by the 22nd of November

Please note all selected photographers will have to attend at least two webinars and three workshops to develop and work on their stories throughout the project.

NOTE ON COVID-19: Please note that we will be proceeding with awarding these grants. However, we will work with selected journalists individually to assist in safe ways of reporting and adapting projects during the ongoing pandemic.

InfoNile is a collaborative cross-border group of environmental “geo” journalists with a mission to uncover critical stories on water issues in the Nile River Basin of Africa through data-based multimedia storytelling. We work on investigative multimedia data journalism projects on critical issues of water and environment across the Nile Basin. Past investigations have included issues of land grabs across the Basin, community-based solutions to wetland destruction in East Africa, and the environmental and health impacts of Sudan’s oil and gas industry. 

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