Sauti Ya Pori (Voice of the Wild), our Amara new radio program, is spearheading efforts to use radio to promote conservation efforts on many important topics.
Radio is a social medium, fostering participation and engagement, in people’s own home languages. Even if social-distancing measures are in place, individuals can engage in meaningful community participation by calling into the radio station to have their say, while also listening to fellow community members. Who needs a phone package, when you have radio? Radio is free. Always and forever. This is an important consideration during pandemics, where lockdowns prevent people going out to earn a living that would pay for data services.
Analogue radio may seem like an old-fashioned way of getting a message across to hundreds of thousands of people. But when you’re working in one of the poorest and most conflict-ridden parts of the country and the message focuses on saving one of the world’s most iconic animals from extinction, then radio remains a key tool for conservationists.
Programs are broadcast in local languages – whether it’s nutrition information for mothers, medical updates for health workers, how to avoid a viral infection during an outbreak, conservation farming for farmers, or school lessons for children. Taking advantage of the benefits that radio can bring as a strong and powerful channel for spreading news and information.
From early 2021, broadcasting on Sifa FM Radio Voi, we have talked about different topics. From environmental-related themes like deforestation, climate change to the activities which people around protected and unprotected areas carry out on daily basis not forgetting challenges they go through. Radio is democratic as it reaches the rich and poor alike. Educated. Uneducated. Young. Old. Every tribe, every region, each gender and ethnic group.
We are working with local focus groups for feedback, and to continue assessing the impact of this exciting project.
Funded by a grant from the Disney Conservation Fund and Wildlife Conservation Society, we are continuing this program into 2022. It is broadcast every Thursday both on FM and online! If you speak Swahili, please have a listen!