The local radio project has been established by World Vision and the Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation (SIBC) to address the lack of access to information and support the recovery efforts of the National Disaster Management Office, Word Vision and other organisations in Temotu Province.
The radio service broadcast recovery tips, reinforced information conveyed by relief and developments agencies relating to health and hygiene, “building back better” techniques and child protection.
World Vision, with funding from the New Zealand Aid Programme, provided two deployable radio units and training for community-based volunteers, while SIBC provided the technical expertise and facility to house the project at Lata.
Chief Walter Kesi, 40, of Venga community, a community-based volunteer for the project, said the radio service has greatly impacted his community and thanked World Vision for working with his community as they recovered from the disaster.
“We learnt a lot from the messages broadcast on the radio about disaster preparedness and recovery, shelter, health and hygiene, agriculture, education, law and order,” says Chief Kesi. “It also allows us to keep abreast of what is happening in other parts of the country and the world.
“World Vision not only facilitates this important service to keep us educated, informed and entertained but it also provides us with solar-powered and hand cranked portable radios which we used to access the radio service”.
On a weekly basis, World Vision also provided mobile broadcasts in communities not reached by the Lata-based station through a mobile radio transmitter.
Andrew Nalua, 33, of SIBC Lata, said that community involvement and the people’s contribution and participation helped to make the radio project a success.
“More than 4,000 people around Santa Cruz accessed our services and a lot of people have contributed content that enabled us to make this project touch the lives of so many people,” said Nalua.
“The radio service has now become part of the household on a daily basis so when the project closed in December people felt that something was missing in their lives.”
World Vision designed the project to run for six months after which time the project resources were handed over to SIBC to continue the project and to be pre-positioned for immediate deployment in future disasters. It is hoped that the radio service will continue with support of SIBC and other agencies in the future.
“Our community-based volunteers whom we have trained to gather broadcast materials and contents from the communities have also registered their sadness over the closure as they have enjoyed working with the community in an effort to rebuild their lives,” says Nalua.
Source: Press Release, World Vision, Solomon Islands