"Not the kind of life a human being should live"

In this three-part series, journalists Freddie Clayton and Sonja Smith and photographer Margaret Courtney-Clarke document Namibia’s dire sanitation crisis and investigate the role of the government in addressing it.

Investigative Team

This project was produced with support from the Pulitzer Center.

Freddie Clayton

Freddie Clayton is a freelance journalist based in Valencia, Spain, where he covers environmental news for the Independent Media Institute. Previously, he has reported in the United States with a broad focus on water and climate solutions. He is a grantee at the Pulitzer Centre and Solutions Journalism Network, and has written for The Economist, Americas Quarterly and Truthout.

Sonja Smith

Sonja Smith is an award-winning journalist based in Namibia and a correspondent for the Associated Press. She has worked for various Namibian media publications, including Confidente, Windhoek Observer and The Namibian. Her last CCIJ investigation, on the working conditions of Namibia’s grape farmers, was recognized at the EFN Namibia Journalism Awards as winner of the Best Agriculture and Environmental story.

Margaret Courtney-Clarke

Margaret Courtney-Clarke, a Namibian photographer, aims to bring historically situated socio-political injustices to light, educate (where governments and press have failed) and celebrate the resilience and creative impulse in the practices of women in the African context. She began her career in the 1970s, working across the globe, and is the author of 10 books. 

Courtney-Clarke’s work has received regular acclaim, including being named The Hundred Heroines by the Royal Photographic Society in 2018, and being shortlisted in 2019 and 2020 for the Contemporary African Photography Prize.

CCIJ Editorial and Design Team


Ajibola Amzat

Yaffa Fredrick


Sotiris Sideris

Yuxi Wang

Design and visuals

Jillian Dudziak

Scott Lewis


Visual, data-driven investigative journalism.

About Veza

Veza is a digital publication produced by the Center for Collaborative Investigative Journalism (CCIJ).

We are committed to a model of journalism that holds investigative reporting, data science, and visual journalism as equal partners in producing reporting that focuses on vulnerable communities.

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