Diakonia installs radio station in Lukulu, Zambia
April 17th, 2013 was a day filled with celebration for the people of the Lukulu District of Zambia, when the Media Institution of Southern Africa (MISA) and Diakonia established a radio station there. This will be of great importance to the far-off region, which up until now has been one of the least informed places in the country.
Need for communication channels
Before the installation of the radio station, the district of Lukulu have had serious problems with retrieving information about current events in Zambia as the district barely catches the national radio and television signals. Newspapers take about 2 to 3 days to reach the region, and as their is no print media house close by, the circulation of papers are very limited. As a consequence, the possibility to communicate and advocate from the region is almost impossible.
Non state actors building democratic culture
The establishment of the radio station in Lukulu is part of a project financed by the European Union and the Swedish government called "Non State Actors (NSA) building democratic culture in rural communities". While the project was funded by states, it has been implemented by Diakonia, MISA, Council of Churches in Zambia (CCZ), Southern Africa Centre for Constructive Resolution of Disputes (SACCORD), Foundation for Democratic Process (FODEP) and the Zambia National Womens Lobby (ZNWL) from 2011 and 2013. The initiation of the radio station in Lukulu concluded the last activity of the project.
Will to continue the success story
The launch attracted many people from the province, and speech, song, dance and the tour of the station characterized the day. The Lukulu community through the board chairman of the Lukulu Community FM Radio Station thanked Diakonia and the other organizations involved for the support and pledged to ensure that the station will be well looked to ensure that the the success story of the radio station will continue.
Long time cooperation with Irish Aid
While the new radio station marks the end of the project, Diakonia has secured a partner to continue supporting the radio station for a much longer time, namely Irish Aid. The cooperation between Diakonia and Irish Aid dates back to 2010 when the two institutions signed a Joint Funding Agreement to support the establishment of community radio stations. Diakonia is excited to see how the project will live on, and hope that the project will strengthen the information and communication channels to and from the Lukulu district.