Radio Bakdaw reconnects typhoon-affected communities

radyo-bakdaw-guiuanRadio Bakdaw is a short-term station that was established by Internews in the Guiuan region, Eastern Samar, Philippines. The radio has been broadcasting humanitarian information since November 2013, soon after typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda hit the country, helping to bridge the gap between affected communities and aid providers.

Title:

"Radio Bakdaw, Guiuan region"

Country:

Philippines

Organization:

Internews with support of the UK Department for International Development (DFID).

Theme: 

Disaster Risk Management

Overview of activities:

The Haiyan typhoon devastated portions of Southeast Asia, particularly the Philippine, on November 8, 2013. The typhoon killed in total 6,268 people in the Eastern Samar (Philippine). Hundreds of thousands of people were displaced in refugees camps. Guiuan and the other municipalities experienced a complete information black out, with no phone network, TV, newspaper or radio being available. The non-governative organization Internews established Radio Bakdaw with the support of Rubin Foundation and DFID.

Radio Bakdaw was the first available radio on the entire FM band after the typhoon devastation. In the first day of broadcasting, the station was live on air for 14 hours. Radio Bakdaw aim is to deliver useful as well as actionable “News-You-Can-Use” including information messages on water sanitation and hygiene, available shops and work opportunities from  humanitarian agencies. Nowadays, Radio Bakdaw ('Rise' in the local language) receives around 500 text messages a day (with peaks of over 1200 texts). 

Methodology: 

Based on the questions from listeners, Radio Bakdaw aims to provide useful information to the Guiuan community and encourages local people to contribute with any relevant information. As communication media were destroyed in the city of Guiuan, the creation of a community radio appeared to be the most effective solution to provide useful information to the population. Throughout Bakdaw Radio activities mainly focusing on participatory communication, local reporters were central to bridge the gap between their own community and aid providers coming to the region. 

Major Outcomes/Impact:

People are able to send their queries or requests for aid directly via SMS text messages. Later on Radio Bakdaw announces all relevant information that may be useful to the community. Information sharing through Radio Bakdaw encouraged Guiuan residents to collaborate together. Thanks to Radyo Bakdaw, some families were reunited and donors were efficiently connected with neighbors in need.

A survey was done in order to establish the listenership and value of Radio Bakdaw as well as the information needs of the community. The survey evidences that Radio Bakdaw has around 17,300 adult listeners on a regular and substantive daily basis in the 9 municipal areas. Participants asserted that Radio Bakdaw represented a key information source. Throughout the survey, they were able to express their preferences regarding the programmes. In general, listeners wanted Radio Bakdaw to communicate more on weather,electricity plans, re-housing / re-location, jobs opportunities and local news. 

Milestones and lessons learned:

Radio Bakdaw has played a central role in supporting the rehabilitation process of the Guiuan region. Through it precise information about the number of people in the area, job opportunies, aid information assistance have been diffused. Moreover the radio helped to create awareness amongst the communities in relation of water sanitation and hygiene issues.

Nowadays, mobile service is beginning to come back online via temporary masts from telecom providers. However due to limited connectivity and periodical electricity issues, information and communication needs are more than critical for Guiuan.

Contacts:

Radio Bakdaw
92.9 FM (Guiuan)
Contact Number: 09477832580

Internews Washington, DC Office
1640 Rhode Island Ave. NW Suite 700
Washington, DC 20036 USA
+ 1 202 833-5740
E-mail: info@internews.org 
Twitter: @internews
Facebook: facebook.com/internews

Internews Asia 
c/- 29 Vanissa Building, 19th Floor,
Room 19 C, Soi Chidlom, Ploenchit Road,
Pathumwan, Bangkok, Thailand 10330

Photo credit: Internews