Community Radio Stations in Coastal Bangladesh address Cyclone Roanu in Disaster Risk Reduction

on Monday, 23 May 2016 13:47. Posted in News from the region

roanuAs part of addressing the risk of cyclone Roanu, eight community radio (CR) stations in the coastal region of Bangladesh broadcast 348 hours program hours for 3 days continuously from May 19 to May 21, 2016

The community radio stations broadcast and served on 24-hours basis to keep alert the community during and after the cyclone Roanu hit in the coastal belt of the country. There are eight community radio stations situated in the coastal region that played a big role in saving people’s lives and assets.

Following the cyclone warning signals, the stations started broadcasting from 19 May afternoon and continued non-stop till midnight of 21st May. During the time, they have broadcasted 348 hours, of those 187 hours are fully around the message and information on cyclone Roanu, the disaster, it’s after-effects and what should be done for the community.

The CR stations continuously broadcast the updates by increasing their previous air-time in line with the "Standing Orders on Disaster (SOD) of Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh".

The stations collected updated information from Meteorological Department, the disaster cells and local control room set up by the District and Upazila administrative authority. As there was no electricity in the area during the time, they were to depend fully on the generator and keep the broadcasting service un-interrupted.

The community radio stations maintained full-time liaison with the disaster monitoring cells at district and Upazila administration. They also kept contact and collected updated information from the Red Cresent volunteers and the scouts who were working hard with the disaster-prone community. Along with broadcasting message and PSAs received from the local government authority, they also broadcasted their own programs which they have learned and produced through training and their experiences from previous disasters.

With broadcasting of weather news bulletin after every 10-15 minutes, they also broadcasted magazine program, drama, feature, interview and talk show of the responsible persons involved in disaster management in the area. As an offline support group, the members of the radio listeners clubs also took part in the process of fulfilling the objective of the station. They visited the house-to-house of the listeners and disseminated information on the latest situation of the cyclone, their contact points during an emergency, what types of services available for them during rescue or rehabilitation community. At the same time, they also supplied information to the radio stations and kept them updated about the community situation.  

Eight radio stations are Community Radio Nalta 99.2 ( Kaligonj, Satkhira), Community Radio Sundarban 98.8 ((Koyra, Khulna), Community Lokobetar 99.2  (Barguna Sadar), Community Rural Radio Krishi Radio 98.8 (Amtoli, Barguna), Community Radio Naf 99.2 (Teknaf, Cox's Bazar), Community Radio Sagargiri 99.2 (Sitakunda, Chittagong), Community Radio Meghna 99.00  (Charfasion, Bhola) and Community Radio Sagardwip 99.2 (Hatiya, Noakhali).

Broadcasting continued even at power failure/load shedding, by using alternative power supplies through generators. Since the stormy weather caused power disruption all over, community Radio stations became the only source of information to the local people so that they could know all the details related to the cyclone and how to take precautionary measures to address their safety. This saved many lives and assets, and thus proved the essential role of community radio stations at a grassroots level in our coastal region.

A total of 116 community broadcasters (Female 37, Male 79) and volunteers and members from 175 listeners clubs worked throughout the whole service. The broadcasters continued broadcasting service on shifting basis.

It can be mentioned that Bangladesh NGOs Network for Radio and Communication (BNNRC) has supported the radio stations during the times of cyclone Mahasen and Komen and thus helped to save the lives and assets of millions of the coastal region. BNNRC kept constant coordination with those stations and provided information and guidance in the whole process.

Source: © BNNRC

FemLinkPacific's « Women Weather Watch »: Highlighting the role of women in disaster response

on Wednesday, 11 May 2016 20:33. Posted in News from the region

logo FemTalkCommunity radios are a privileged place where women can make their voices heard, find a space for discussion, empowerment and emancipation. They are vectors of education, culture, knowledge sharing and development. Through them, women can enforce their role as major social actors.

On the occasion of the 2016 International Women’s Day and in the frame of the AMARC Global Campaign Fund, AMARC highlighted the challenges and achievements of women by presenting the work of journalists and producers celebrating the voices of women in an international audio series.

FemLinkPacific, a Fiji based feminist community media organisation, contributed three audio productions to the series.

« Women Weather Watch » is a media advocacy campaign initiated following Cyclone Mick in 2009, which resulted in the displacement of 2000 people. During this crisis it was evident from the accounts of women that they had not been accounted for their leadership and recommendations in the coordination of relief efforts, even though women were leading the response in their communities.

The first production highlights the impact of climate change on rural women in the Pacific and how they are organising themselves to overcome the challenges that they face due to climate change.

The second production focusses on the important role of women before, during and after any natural disaster. It also focus on the need to be inclusive during rehabilitation process during and after a natural disaster.

The third production talks about the experience of women when they have no or limited access to water. It also includes some policy recommendation from women.

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Bangladesh NGOs Network for Radio and Communication wins 2016 WSIS Prize

on Wednesday, 04 May 2016 17:33. Posted in News from the region

wsis pictureGeneva, May 4, 2016. Bangladesh NGOs Network for Radio and Communication (BNNRC) received the 2016 UN World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) prize.

The World Summit on the Information Society presented the award on May 3 as part of the WSIS Forum 2016 in Geneva, Switzerland. The event is co-organized by ITU, UNESCO, UNCTAD, and UNDP with the engagement of other United Nations agencies.

The prestigious prize was awarded in recognition to BNNRC’s successful implementation of the project on Youth Women in Community Media and Journalism - the beginning of a new era in rural broadcasting journalism of Bangladesh supported by the Free Press Unlimited. BNNRC’s project, which was recognized for excellence in the implementation of the project, highlights the ‘voices of the rural people’ which essentially is the core of the rural broadcasting journalism programme, especially for the female journalists.

AHM Bazlur Rahman, Chief Executive Officer of BNNRC said: “We are indeed honored to have received this award. All of us at BNNRC are extremely proud that our work has been given this appreciation and recognition by the international community. BNNRC is grateful for this recognition. But BNNRC is not a winner. The real winners are 60 youth women community radio journalists those are working with 16 community radio stations in Bangladesh for ensuring voices of the voice-less in line with the poverty of voice.”

The youth women journalists, aged between 18 and 30, prior to joining their responsibilities in community radio broadcasting programmes and feature writing in local newspapers, were exposed to customised media training to strengthen understanding of reporting, news and script writing and editing during their fellowship programme held in three separate batches ranging from 3-6 months during 2013 and 2015. During the short-lived fellowship, the school and college graduate fellows joined as producers, anchors and reporters in 16 regional community radio stations some of which are located in remote coastal islands and in river banks.

In pursuit of their fellowship programmes the youth women produced over 800 radio programmes and about 500 newspaper reports which largely focused on messages to free the society from the traditional caste system, good practices in health for women and children, end early marriages, social discrimination, violence against women, promotion of education, establish human rights and give more voices to the marginalized people. Using information technology in broadcasting, the empowered youth women journalists, the majority (40) of whom come from Dalit families or the lowest caste in the society, demonstrated how the chemistry of creating opportunities and utilizing information technology can change the society. This was one of the most important criteria for nomination for the WSIS award.

The goal of WSIS is to achieve a common vision, desire, and commitment to building a people-centric, inclusive and development-oriented Information Society where everyone can create, access, utilize and share information. The WSIS Forum 2016 represents the world's largest annual gathering of the ‘ICT for development’ community.

Source: BNNRC

In Commemoration of the Tragic Earthquake in Nepal and in Recognition of the Role of Community Radios, AMARC Asia-Pacific organizes a Community Radio seminar on Disaster Risk Reduction

on Wednesday, 20 April 2016 10:30. Posted in Events

Nepal radioGhorka04 29042015AMARC Asia-Pacific, the regional chapter of the World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters (AMARC), is organizing a seminar to mark the first year since the massive earthquake that struck Nepal on 25 April 2015 and to review the role of community radios in the aftermath of the disaster. The seminar will be held in Kathmandu on 21 April 2016.

Honorable Minister of Information and Communication of Government of Nepal Mr. Sher Dhan Rai will grace the event as the Chief Guest.

Mr. Dinesh Kumar Thapaliya, Secretary, Ministry of Information and Communication of Government of Nepal along with His Excellency the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, Mr. Masashi Ogawa of Embassy of Japan in Nepal will attend as Guests of Honor.

The role of community radios and local media as mediums of disaster risk reduction is well acknowledged through out the world. Community radios play the vital role of enhancing preparedness of communities to deal with natural disasters and epidemics. They also play a crucial role of connecting relief agencies with the local populations in the immediate aftermath of disasters.

In the medium and longer term, their role as watchdogs and facilitators of rehabilitation and reconstruction tasks, in ensuring transparency of public expenditures and services, and thereby promoting good governance at local levels is critically important.

The Seminar entitled “Community Radios for Disaster Risk Reduction – The Nepal Initiative” will discuss strategies and ideas for enhancing preparedness of community radios so that they can play an even more effective role as tools of disaster risk reduction. A range of issues such as people’s participation in community radios to a community radio friendly national media policy will be brought under focus during the deliberations.

Speakers and community radio experts from India, Japan and Nepal will share their opinions and ideas in the seminar. Mr. Ramnath Bhat, Acting President of AMARC Asia-Pacific along with Mr. Junichi Hibino, treasurer of the AMARC Asia-Pacific, and Ms. Nimmi Chauhan, Asia-Pacific representative of Women International Network (WIN is a network of women broadcasters in community radios) will be at the seminar to share their insights.

The seminar is being organized with the support of Shapla Neer, an INGO involved in grassroots development in Nepal.

The organizer of the seminar, AMARC, is an international association of community radios. Its members are located in more than 130 countries worldwide. The Asia-Pacific regional office is located in Kathmandu.

Please find the agenda of the seminar here.

For further information, please contact:

Suman Basnet
Regional Coordinator
AMARC Asia-Pacifc
Phone: 015554811