Country/area: Egypt

Organisation: Climate tracker , Zat Masr With support from Zeinth magazine and candid foundation

Organisation size: Small

Publication date: 26/12/2021

Credit: Two Journalists (Eman Mounir – Saber Elaraby)


Eman is an independent investigative journalist from Egypt. Keenly interested in scientific, environmental, and feminist stories, she’s received an award in New Media from the University of Bournemouth in the UK, and other award in scientific journalism from the German Goethe Institute. She’s currently nominated for the True Story Prize in Switzerland, and previously nominated for Thomson Foundation’s Young Journalist Award. Eman studied Data Journalism with a 6-month diploma by ICFJ and ARIJ Network for Investigative Journalism.
Saber: An Egyptian journalist with more than 15 years of experience in journalism. He currently works for the Egyptian Al-Musawwar magazine.

Project description:

The investigation focuses on carbon emissions from Egypt’s fuel-powered power plants and the environmental and health effects they have on the residents who live nearby.

The investigation is divided into three sections:
The first section is an analysis of data from the World Resources Institute Climate Watch between (1992-2018), the Egyptian National Reporting Report, and the Egyptian Electricity Holding Company’s yearly reports.

The second: Focuses on the problems faced by the people of Bani Ghaleb in Egypt’s Giza governorate

The third focuses on the health issues of Assiut residents who live near the “Al-Walidiya” power station.

Impact reached:

Other websites have reposted the investigation. And on Climate Tracker, a worldwide website. It is generally shared by individuals who are concerned about global climate change.

The government declared that the fuel used in the Walidiya power plant will be converted from diesel to “natural gas.”


Techniques/technologies used:

Between 1992 and 2018, I examined data from the World Resources Institute’s Climate Watch on carbon emissions in Egypt and the Arab region.
As well as the Egyptian Electricity Holding Company’s yearly reports from 2014 until 2020.

In addition, satellite pictures were used to track emissions from the sites indicated in the research.

The findings of studies on power plants, particularly the Walidiya power plant in Assiut, were examined.

I collected, cleaned and analyzed data using Excel. And write its own draft.
The results of the data were confirmed after communicating with sources and cases from farmers and citizens who live near electrical stations.

I also conducted field research and documented the impacts of pollution and emissions on farmers, and I spent a whole day with them to evaluate the consequences of pollution on them. I chatted with roughly 15 farmers near Giza’s Abu Ghaleb station.


What was the hardest part of this project?

Getting the sources to talk about their concerns is the most difficult component of the investagation Because they are terrified of the security reactions that may occur after speaking with us.
In addition, field work and documenting the situation were challenging.
Because we are both independent journalists, communicating with official government sources proved difficult. Investigative journalism is not tolerated by the authorities.
It was also difficult to comprehend scientific studies.

The major issue with the data was that it was quite large and required a long time to clean up and analyse.
It was difficult to get scientific studies on the Walidiya power facility.

What can others learn from this project?

That your investigation theory can be proven by data and open sources.
This is my first investigation based on data. Previously, in order to prove the investigation hypothesis, I looked for case papers, sources, cases, and so on.
You now know that the hypothesis can be confirmed using data and open sources.

And data analysis adds value and strength to the investigation by accounting for the many sources. And confidently direct your questions to the officials.
I also learnt that statistics, when carefully analysed, can be a source of power, because numbers do not lie.

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