Radio saves lives: How Radio Nhamatanda helps people survive cyclone Idai

Source: Wed, 17 Apr 2019 05:47 PM
S. Fenton/WFP
Tweet Recommend Google + LinkedIn Email

On the night of Thursday 14 March, when cyclone Idai was on a course to hit Sofala province in Mozambique, Rodrigues Pedro Tembe, a technician with Radio Nhamatanda, volunteered to stay in his studio and protect the equipment. His wife and children went to a relative’s house on higher ground.

When the roof blew off and corrugated zinc sheets got entangled in cables, Tembe pulled them down. He moved the console and tried to keep things dry. In the morning, he went home. “I no longer had a home,” he said. “Gone.” The radio’s equipment was badly damaged but the antenna held on, although unstable. The team glued and tied and dried things, borrowed a microphone from a musician and headphones from a neighbour. When electricity returned to the town, which has around 30,000 inhabitants, they were ready. Radio Nhamatanda was the first community radio in Sofala province back on air on 28 March.

Days before the cyclone, the radio was giving disaster warning advice provided by the municipality. Keep the family together and inside. Secure the roof. Stock up on food and lanterns. Keep your cell phone charged and with you. Keep documents dry. Go to higher ground if needed. At the tented camp for people who lost their homes, a group of women recalled the information from the radio station “saved lives,” said Belita Antonio Redeno, 21, who fled to higher ground with her two young children. But not her husband, a fisherman, who was swept away by the swollen Pungwe River.

Radio Nhamatanda covers a radius of 75 kilometres across three districts, including the towns of Chimoio and Dondo, and has an estimated 194,00 listeners. With a team of 35 people, of whom five women, it transmits programmes in Portuguese, Sena and Ndau, from 6am to 9pm.

The CDAC Network project in Mozambique on communication and community engagement is funded by the H2H Fund, which is supported by UK aid from the UK government. For more information about the project contact: Mercedes.Sayagues@cdacnetwork.org

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of the CDAC Network. For more information see our Acceptable Use Policy.

About the CDAC Network

The CDAC Network is a growing platform of more than 30 humanitarian, media development, social innovation, technology, and telecommunication organisations, dedicated to saving lives and making aid more effective through communication, information exchange and community engagement.

Our Members

Newsletter Signup

Communication is Aid

Latest Tweets