UNESCO provided a workshop for Mangelete FM staff, in Kenya, to raise their capacity to produce radio programmes on issues of local concern from 20 to 21 June 2014. The training benefited 8 participants, being 5 men and 3 women, and it aimed at building and strengthening radio programme production particularly on deforestation, a key issue of concern raised by community leaders during a roundtable meeting held at the radio station.
Before the workshop, 40 community members, both men and women, attended two days of round table discussions on how to combat deforestation. In Mtito Andei community, where the radio station is located, the practice of cutting down of trees for wood carvings, timber and charcoal burning is rampant. It was noticed that this practice has reduced the amount of rainfall received in the area in the recent days. An alternative way of survival for youth and other members who are involved in this practice was analyzed and a sensitization campaign on this issue was agreed and planned. It was discussed how the radio can cover this issue and educate the public masses about the importance conserving the environment.
During the training, participants learned reporting skills to cover deforestation such as data collection, analysis, identification of stakeholders, ethical issues and basic steps to produce a news story about this issue. The Assistant Chief of the area, Mr. James Makusi, informed the participants that the government will steer up the campaign to sensitize parents and teachers to retain children in school.
Following the round table meetings, the members of the community have seen the importance of preserving the environment and anonymously agreed to abandon the practice and embark on different ways of survival. At the end of training, community elders agreed to campaign against children school dropout – which is rampant due to the involvement of children in the practice of cutting down trees to raise money.