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Short Form

Short Form Journalism by the Bhekisisa Team

Water shortages in South Sudan force residents to rely on water vendors.

Juba’s water vendors make a living, but it’s a cut-throat business

Water pumped from the Nile is the only option for 98% of the residents of South Sudan's capital.
In Sierra Leone’s island-bound district of Bonthe

This is what it’s like to give birth in the world’s most dangerous country...

When a river and several hours of dirt roads stand between you & the nearest hospital, giving birth can be deadly. One nurse is hoping to change that.
In Nigeria

Life under Nigeria’s gay ban

It’s been five years since the country prohibited same-sex marriage and LGBTI gatherings, and the climate of fear left in its wake could be deadly.

Doctors pass the scalpel to nurses in the quest for safer births

A doctor shortage in war-torn Mozambique paved the way for a new breed of surgeons that have slashed deaths among new...
Through its branches

How many of these iconic protest posters can you recognise?

Here's the story of the Treatment Action Campaign or how a handful of people created a global movement that changed the world.
Codeine products are available over the counter in South Africa. But codeine is addictive and the products can be abused.

Is codeine Africa’s drug of choice?

Common cough, flu and pain medicines can be addictive. Codeine addiction is an increasingly well-known problem in South Africa.
The Maji Mazuri institute in north-east Nairobi.

Investigation reveals shocking conditions at NGOs caring for disabled people

Report unearths neglect in Kenyan institutions, yet discrimination means children may be at risk of being killed if they remain in communities
Water hyacinth isn’t just good at being abundant – its foliage also contains a high ratio of carbon to nitrogen. The combination makes it ideal as a renewable gas source via bio digesters like this one.

Why the fight against this weed could pay off handsomely for an energy-strapped SA

This invasive plant clogs our dam and rivers but in Kenya, it’s become the next big thing in renewable energy.
Angela Baloyi no longer sleeps in the room she shared with her five-year-old brother after a man snuck in one night and raped her. She was eight months’ pregnant.

‘I didn’t think it was necessary to use condoms because I was only 15.’

This province reported skyrocketing rates of teen pregnancy but behind the figures lies a story about sex, knowledge and data.
In good hands: Mozambique's nurses take up the scalpel for safer births

This map tells you which districts have the country’s highest c-section rates

Some districts report Caesarean rates of 40%, which is much higher than the 26% national average for public hospitals.
Honeybee harvesting pollen. WWF is piloting beekeeping and ecotourism initiatives in the Madagascan village of Kivalo.

What happens when you can’t fight climate change? You use what you’ve got to...

In Kivalo, where cyclones, overfishing and rising seas threaten livelihoods, beekeeping offers an unlikely alternative to fishing.
Remote: Zodwa Zulu*

It’s only 32km to the state clinic, but for the poor that’s a world...

Some residents in rural towns in Mpumalanga have to chose between buying food or going to the doctor.

Obesity: Is eating slap tjips as bad as smoking?

For millennials, it ain't looking good, but are hard-hitting campaigns just fat-shaming and counterproductive?
South Africa legalised abortion decades ago but a lack of information on where to get one and health workers willing to terminate pregnancies still stand between people and safe abortions.

Cruel dilemma: To terminate or not to terminate

The joy of motherhood is killed by a moral and ethical dilemma when doctors advise termination of a pregnancy.
Zimbabwe's tough abortion laws aren't curbing terminations

Inside the illegal abortion market: ‘I nearly touched hell’

Zimbabwe’s tight abortion laws aren’t curbing demand, they’re driving them underground — and it’s about to get worse.
A field of maize devastated by Cyclone Idai

Cyclone Idai: ‘I don’t know how my children will survive’

Why the storm may have conspired with a savage drought to deliver a deadly second blow to Zimbabwe where 70% of people are in dire need of food.