Updated: Jul 13
By Dr. Yossef Ben-Meir
Errachid Montassir at the United Nations Headquarters in New York during the Climate Action Summit, September 2019.
Errachid Montassir, High Atlas Foundation (HAF) Project Manager and Volunteer Coordinator for the USAID Farmer-to-Farmer Program, won the Water and Energy Award at the Mediathon organized by AMWAJ, CEWAS and Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung.
Water and Energy ‘Mediathon’, a capacity-building event, connects media professionals with water and energy entrepreneurs. The term ‘Mediathon’ is composed of two words: “media” and “hackathon”. The Mediathon aims to develop media campaigns that stimulate the required demand for sustainable water and energy solutions. The event lasted for three fully immersive days, which gave an opportunity to media professionals to collaborate with environmental enthusiasts and young entrepreneurs in order to target emerging environmental topics in a creative and effective way.
A total of 30 participants from different disciplines worked in teams made up of one entrepreneur and four media professionals. Each team developed an innovative water and energy media campaign and pitched their concept to a jury of experts in media and environmental sustainability.
Errachid and four other members, media professionals: Samar Samir from Egypt, Malak Altaeb from Libya, Joey Geadah from Lebanon along with a water and energy entrepreneur Aia Abul-haj from Jordan, worked collectively to organize a media campaign to raise awareness about water waste treatment in rural communities. In addition, the campaign aims to highlight the advantage of a water waste system developed by a registered Start-up named “SOLVillion”.
Within safe, low cost, green, and high-quality standards, “SOLVillion” provides innovative engineering solutions related to water and sanitation systems in full package services to its customers including pre and post consultation and after-sale services. This system is considered a revolutionary solution for all kinds of institutions like households, schools, mosques, hotels, refugee camps, and car washing stations that are not connected to the public sewage system that has a bad smell and discharging cost. This system recycles water for greening.
The team used different channels for this campaign: social media platforms (Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter, LinkedIn), traditional media (radio stations), Ambassadorship Program (designated ambassadors & advocates), and publications and /or printed collaterals (brochures).
One of the main outputs of the campaign is a Radio commercial ad about the wastewater system, its advantages, and how to purchase it. The team will reach out to the most listened Radio stations by rural communities, in order to run the radio ad, it will be a 50-seconds ad for one month run 3 times a week via a daily morning radio program (7:30 -10:00 am). The team focused more on this point, as most people in rural areas listen to the radio in the morning.
A great collective work and high potentials among the team members led them to win seed funding ($1,500) to further develop and implement their concept. This formative event did not only enable the participants to test and develop their unique skills as a water/energy media professional, but it also gives them the opportunity to enrich and network with other media, water, and energy experts from across the region.