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Establishment of the Usisya Community Radio Station

Year when project approved: 
Approved budget: 
US$20 900.00

Nkhata Bay (and Usisya, the location where the radio will be installed), are in a 'shadow area' of the communication and information services. Radio signals from the Malawi Broadcasting Corporation and other radio stations barely reach the district, and the citizens have now resorted to Tanzanian Radio stations, thus adversely affecting a sense of belonging to the Malawi nation. The lack of a relevant medium of communication has meant that the population cannot meaningfully participate in issues relating to the rule of law, human rights, development and decision-making. Rural women and youth are the most disadvantaged in Nkhata Bay District. Many crops are grown for both food and cash crops. Communication of relevant messages through a community radio would greatly improve the quality and quantity of agricultural output in the area. Only about 6 084 out of 500 000 hectares of prime agricultural land are presently being utilised, due among other reasons, to the lack of appropriate communication means and techniques. From the point of view of the fishing industry that has great potential to improve the health and financial status of the people, a local radio would provide invaluable information on preservation of the resource and promotion of fish farming. Despite its remoteness, Usisya receives tourists. Tourism brings benefits, but it has some negative effects as well. Some students tend to drop out of school so that they can work as tour guides for the tourists. Some eventually become drug addicts, and may also engage in activities that predispose them to contracting HIV, whose prevalence is estimated at 17%. The proposed radio station would be a very important tool for inducing the youth away from risky behaviours as from school. The proposed Usisya Community radio project will directly benefit four Chiefs, namely traditional authorities Mbwana, Boghoyo, Nyaluwanga and Mkondowe. The total population under these Chiefs is 30 000, as per the 2008 Malawi Housing and Population Census.
The project's objective is to empower the people of Nkhata Bay-Usisya by providing them with a community radio that will help them defend and clearly express their democratic rights, and engage in dialogue about their livelihoods. This will be achieved by the pursuit of several narrower goals: the establishment of a fully operational democratically run community radio in Nkhata Bay Usisya; promoting social and development goals, human and political rights of the rural marginalized men, women and the youth, and particularly the right to freedom of expression; and after completion of the training of production and technical staff, to broadcast developmental programmes on health, HIV/AIDS, agriculture, fisheries, human rights education, advocating local cultures, national citizenship and sense of belonging.

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Project details
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Beneficiary name: 
Usisya community radio station

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Location and contacts
Project contacts: 

Emmanuel B. Z. Kondowe,

Project place: 
Nkhata Bay District

Project region: