The investigation by Mustafa Mansour Mohamed (pseudonym) coached and supported by ARIJ Arab Reporters for Investigative Journalism) won the prestigious SIGMA Awards 2022 for Best Data Journalism stories worldwide for their project “Lanes of Death in East Cairo” (AR). The news was announced in April 2022 at the Journalism Festival in Perugia, Italy. The ARIJ team was selected by a jury comprised of the most esteemed data journalists and experts worldwide. The project was chosen from a pool of over 600 individuals and 370 organisations from more than 70 countries.
ARIJ, a SRT grantee since 2021, is an organization that promotes investigative journalism across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). ARIJ believes that investigative journalism can play a pivotal role in pushing for reforms that would guarantee the universal values of transparency, institutional accountability, rule of law and human rights. ARIJ trained and supported over 15 years more than 4,400 Arab investigative journalists and provided editorial and financial support to major investigations.
Published in September 2021, “Lanes of Death in East Cairo” documents the increase in deaths and pedestrian injuries on the roads in East Cairo due to the failure of local development officials to establish appropriate safety measures. The report also documented environmental degradation and destruction on the roads.
Because the government lacked official data and statistics on the issue, the ARIJ team leveraged numerous data sets, graphic and imagery tools, and paired those with field interviews. The team manually captured critical qualitative and quantitative data to inform the report, risking their own security and safety in the process.
As a result of the investigation, in February 2022, the Egyptian presidential office demanded all construction and development authorities expedite the construction of safety lanes, pedestrian bridges, lights and signs in newly constructed roads in the dangerous traffic areas outlined in the report and allocated what is estimated to be 17 million Egyptian pounds (around 1 million USD) to finance the project. In addition to the safety and security interventions, the government called for local community meetings to inform about what happened and include them in the process.
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