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US photographer Nicky Quamina-Woo has been named as the latest winner of the Marilyn Stafford FotoReportage Award. Her winning project is called As The Water Comes and focusses on the plight of people in northern Senegal, where hundreds of families have been evacuated as their houses have been destroyed by rising sea levels.

As Nicky explains, the locals are forced to move to tent cities when their homes are no longer habitable, and efforts to deal with these problems are often ignored or severely handicapped by a failure to understand their nature and act on possible remedies that incorporate residents’ needs. One such area, Doun Baba Dieye, had to be abandoned as the village was completely submerged in 2009 after authorities dug a channel through a small peninsula that initially protected the residents against the ocean’s surge.

“This award is especially heart-warming for me,” said Nicky. “The judges chose work highlighting climate change in Africa, with its abundant natural resources, which is so often overlooked when it comes to environmental issues, though it suffers heightened effects of things like desertification and erosion.” Nicky receives £2000 for her sterling work.

Full details of this year’s awards, including the runners up, can be found here. The Marilyn Stafford Award, supported by Nikon and facilitated by FotoDocument, a not-for-profit photography organisation, celebrates female photographers and highlights the positive power of photojournalism to reveal and explore the most important issues facing our people and planet.