June 09, 2015

Radio Support Initiatives Shared at Radio Larger Meeting

A meeting of radio larger group held at ACORAB office on May 8, 2015. In a meeting, thirteen people from seven organizations participated in the meeting. Radio larger group member organizations have shared their initiatives for supporting earthquake affected radios.

Summary of the Initiatives*

1. CIN/ACORAB informed the group about the content that had been collected by the network for sharing. The collection included 15 PSA’s prepared by Antenna Foundation with UNICEF support, eight prepared by Ujyaalo, six by Equal Access and that there was discussion to produce 15 PSAs with the support from the WHO and the Government’s health information and communication department. It said it has its own Lifeline program (30 minutes) and also carries BBC MA program 

2.  International Media Support (IMS)  has been trying to support 10 community and private stations in the quake affected districts with critical equipment support (recorders) and programming support on accountability during the recovery and reconstruction period. It will involve a large broadcaster in Kathmandu for production support and broadcasting and another organization in Kathmandu to continuously monitor the content. The journalists involved in newsgathering will come from stations in the districts.  The contracting for the project remains to be done.

Binod Bhattarai, IMS consultant also shared information that there was a group in Germany trying to send 10 recorders to Nepal and that another local group (Samudaiyk Radio SajhedariSamyantra – a network of 25 community radios.) was planning to do discussions on radio on settlements explore the efficacies of the different settlement options now being discussed by Government. Their funding had not been confirmed.

2. BBC Media Action has continued with Lifeline programming and hoped to continue beyond 7-8 months. It is also planning Lifeline programming training in July for 10 radio partners, five from the quake-affected districts. It will select the stations based on an internal assessment. BBC MA said local accountability issues would be covered on its SajhaSawal program. BBC also plans to provide some equipment to support broadcast (back up for ensuring that stations can quickly begin broadcasting during disasters, for example) but not primary broadcasting equipment.

3. Ujyaalo Network provided information on support it had provided to different radio stations so far, the details are as follows:

Radio Dhading – battery and inverter

Radio Kalinchowk – transmitter

Radio Sindhu   -- transmitter

Radio Chautari – Lamjung – Broadcast building maintenance and inverter 3 KVA

Radio Marsyangdi – chemical ‘earthing’ for securing equipment against lightening

Radio Gorkha – support to relocate antenna

Radio Choice – batteries and inverter

Radio Krishi – Mixer and microphone

Radio Melamchi – Mixer (to be provided)

Radio Tinlal – Ramechaap – Uninterrupted power supply

The support was provided following field-based assessments done by the network. In addition Ujyaalo Network has also sent technicians for fixing towers and maintaining transmitters and studios to three stations in Bandipur, Radio Chautari and Radio Marsyangdi. Ujyaalo had carried out field broadcasting from three districts after the earthquake for six days. It is planning to have similar broadcasts from six districts.

4. Internews has provided Rs. 50,000 ($500) cash grants to five stations through Antenna Foundation and plans to provide the grant to four more stations. It also plans to send an individual to the stations for on-site mentoring/coaching in June-July. The stations that have received the cash grants are: a.  Radio Gorkha, b. Radio Rasuwa, c. Radio Langtang, d. Radio Sindhu, e. Radio Melamchi The remaining four stations would be selected from Dolakha (2), Dhading (1) and Kavre (1) districts. Internews has also translated and adapted a handbook for journalists for reporting during disasters and has been distributing the content online. It has not been able to publish the handbook ($1400-1500) is required for printing 500 copies.

6.  Antenna Foundation said it has made a proposal seeking support from the Governance Facility and plans to use the funds for carrying out public dialogues in quake affected districts and passing information collected in the field to humanitarian organizations. It said its M&E people are looking into how that information can be compiled and passed on. It is also planning to re-direct its on-going Doko Radio (Radio in a basket) to six districts in the quake-affected areas for on site broadcasting. It also plans to mentor radio stations while the team is in the district.

7.  AMARC said it has secured funding from UNICEF to prepare a training manual and carrying out training of about 100 radio personnel. It said it was also working on raising funds to build shelters for at least five radio stations in the districts and talks were underway with another donor. AMARC said its manual would deal with how to prepare for crisis, how to manage staffs and station during emergencies and how to address to the information needs of local communities. It plans to use a draft manual to train about 100 broadcasters, and also train local technicians.

(*Summary is prepared by Binod Bhattarai, IMS Consultant)


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