As the sun rises, farmers and villagers tune onto their radio stations for daily updates.
On the stereo, Presenter at the Namibian Broadcast Corporation (NBC) Oshiwambo radio station Ebba Aikuti, welcomes listeners to a popular morning show “Lungada”. On the show, local leaders, government, public and private organisations through their respective departments make use of the platform to inform the public on any official issues, including emergencies, briefed Aikuti.
Farther from a studio, in a far flung village in the Oshana Region, lending an ear to her radio is communal farmer Nangula Kapolo. She couldn’t be happier to hear the familiar Presenter’s voice, as she hopes to hear of opportunities that could lift her out of farming distraught due to drought.
As luck would have it for Kapolo, local leader Councilor Mupetami of Okatyali Constituency is an early bird. On the Lungada radio slot, he informs farmers in his constituency to collect seeds from the office in Oshana Region.
The seeds are provided by the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry to drought and flood affected farmers across Namibia, and are distributed through the regional council offices.
Kapolo is filled with joy at receipt of the news. Like many farmers, following a dry spell, she was unable to secure and reserve seeds from her previous harvest due to poor yields.
“The harvest was poor, and simultaneously the seeds thereof. I could not reserve any seeds for sowing this season. Therefore, I am pleased to hear the announcement by our Councilor on radio for farmers to collect the seeds. If it were not for radio, I would still be unaware of this opportunity and would not venture into farming this year,” Kapolo told Xinhua.
Namibia joined the rest of the world on February 14 to commemorate World Radio Day in Gobabis in the Omaheke region under the global theme “Radio in Times of Emergency and Disaster” as radio remains active and close to the people most affected.
Irina Bokova, Director General of UNESCO on the occasion of World Radio Day said that amidst the ruin and in the face of an emergency, radio is often the first medium for survival.
“Its proximity, simplicity and low cost also make the radio a medium that promotes community living, providing a way to strengthen social ties and ensure people’s participation in humanitarian programmes and the discussions that inform them,” said Bokova.
Complementary, radio can also assist in the quick mobilization of people to ensure a strong and coordinated global response to an emergency.
Aikuti said that the show has a wide listenership. In fact, radio is so powerful, attests Aikuti: it is not legit unless it has been announced on radio. “Rural community members, elderly and pensioners in most cases would not attend an event unless it was announced or hear the communication on radio,” Aikuti added. Enditem