UNESCO to donate broadcasting equipment to community radio in Manicaland, Zimbabwe
The UNESCO Regional Office for Southern Africa and the Ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services with funding from the World Bank under the UNOPS managed Zimbabwe Idai Recovery Project (ZIRP) will donate radio broadcasting equipment to a community radio in Manicaland Province on 27 September 2021.
The equipment will be handed over to the community radio station during this year’s commemoration of the International Day for Universal Access to Information to be held in Chimanimani district.
Community broadcasting is set to improve communication in the province that was hit by Cyclone Idai that left a trail of destruction in 2019. Timely dissemination of information especially in local languages is critical during disasters and emergency situations. Damages and loss of life can be reduced as timely information ensures that communities take mitigation measures well in advance.
The community radio stations in Manicaland are thus being mobilised to disseminate life-saving and real-time messages through public service announcements and ensure that what happened in 2019 during Cyclone Idai does not recur.
In addition to procuring equipment, UNESCO is also providing technical support and capacity building trainings to support community radio practitioners.
The Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, Honourable Monica Mutsvangwa is expected to officiate at the handover ceremony together with UNESCO ROSA Officer-in-Charge, Martiale Zebaze Kana. The equipment to be handed over include audio mixers, CD/MP3 players, monitors, microphones, editing software, FM antennas and transmitters.
UNESCO Regional Advisor for Communication and Information, Mr. Al Amin Yusuph is hopeful that community radios “will be able to provide early warning systems and emergency responses in case of any future disasters”.
He added that the early response systems would be achieved through linkages between community radios, community communications mechanisms and regional and national mechanisms.
The community radios will form part of the Zimbabwe Idai Recovery Project’s community early warning system which aims at strengthening community resilience to disasters and emergencies in the region.