On August 17th, 2017, UNESCO Dar es Salaam Office handed over equipment for increasing coverage of four community radios in rural areas in Tanzania.
The equipment was donated to Baloha FM located in Kahama district, Uvinza FM, Pangani FM and Mkoani FM located in Pemba Island.
Speaking during the handover ceremony, Head of UNESCO in Tanzania Ms. Zulmira Rodrigues said UNESCO does recognize the good work done by community radios and an increase in coverage will mean reaching more people.
Ms. Rodrigues stressed the importance of community radios to act as guardians of own institutions to ensure that what is broadcasted is based on facts following proper investigation.
Baloha FM Manager Samada Maduhu thanked UNESCO for the support saying that his station will now be able to reach 5 districts and will also spare the radio from spending TZS 700,000 per month to rent a transmitter.
“Our radio station coverage reaches 500,000 people so far but with the new equipment we will be able to reach 1,000,000 people in more than five districts of Kahama, Shinyanga rural, Nyang’wale and Mbogwe districts in Geita region, as well as Nzega and Uyui districts in Tabora region,” said the manager.
For his part, Ayub Kalufya from Uvinza Community radio said his station has been renting a transmitter for TZS 500,000 per month summing to TZS 6,000,000 per year, with the new equipment from UNESCO, his station will be spared from that ordeal.
According to Kalufya, the new transmitter will make it possible for people along Lake Tanganyika and beyond the borders to listen to Uvinza FM and thus contribute to social and political development in Tanzania.
“If people are heard, voices are heard, they can voice their ideas, human rights will be respected and enhanced in Tanzania,” said Mr. Kalufya.
He thanked UNESCO for its continued support saying had it not been for the support, their radios would have not been able to reach the marginalized people in Tanzania.
Other community radios that have benefitted from the donation are Pangani FM, which set to reach listeners in the whole region of Tanga unlike in the past where they managed to reach part of Pangani district, and Mkoani FM from Pemba.