Rural dwellers speak about their dependence on radio for information on World Radio Day

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Sun, 13 Feb 2022 Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Correspondence from Eastern Region

The absence of electricity in most rural settings means rural dwellers solely depend on radio as their source of information.

Mostly battery or solar-powered, radio sets come in handy for residents of these communities who are ‘lucky’ to receive radio signals from near and far.

To mark this year’s World Radio Day on Sunday, February 13, GhanaWeb’s Eastern Regional Correspondent, Michael Oberteye observed how inhabitants of some rural communities in the region, in the absence of television, newspapers and the internet rely on radio as their sole source of news.

The day is marked to raise public awareness of the importance of radio and to encourage decision makers to use it to provide access to information.

68-year-old Comfort Nartey lives with her husband and their 11-year-old grandson at Tsledom, a farming community. On a short earthen wall in the compound is a solar-powered radio set together with a solar-powered torch being charged in the sun.

Madam Comfort explained that the radio remains their primary source of news in the absence of other media.

“[I listen to radio] just to know how things are going on [at] different places while we weren’t there,” said Auntie Comfort.

“Graphic too we don’t have graphic. Everything, we hear it on the radio, apart from that, nothing else. We don’t have TV too, we don’t use TV,” she added.

She mentioned Koforidua-based Sunrise FM, a subsidiary of the state broadcaster, Ghana Broadcasting Corporation and Afeema FM as their preferred stations.

Asked if she trusted the kind of information she hears on the radio as there are no other media, she said, “Because we don’t have TV, whatever radio will tell us or we hear from it, we too we believe it.”

48-year-old Kwasi Robert is privileged enough to own a battery-powered radio set. Together with his wife. He replaces the batteries almost every week but says the medium is important to rural folks as it remains their most accessible source of information, particularly during the onset and peak of the COVID-19 pandemic where they relied on radio a lot for information and education.

“I listen to the radio to follow events around the country. But for the medium, we wouldn’t know what’s happening from the government and the people. We also followed discussions and education on radio during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Robert.

Robert said as a sports fan, his radio set remains his friend as there is no electricity supply in the community, for the supply of sports news from around the world. He said, “I listen to sports programmes because we do not have light here to watch TV after listening to the radio so I don’t leave my radio set. I have it by side morning, afternoon and evening.”

He listed ‘Fa be woso” on Adom FM as one of his most listened to programmes.

Kwasi Robert’s wife, Teye Elizabeth also has her preferences for programmes she listens to.

An ardent listener of the radio, she told this portal that, “the radio is very important to us because we do not enjoy electricity here, the asset remains our only source so it is very important for us. Wherever we go, we take it along, man, woman or child, the radio remains our spokesperson to give us information.”

Aside listening to the news, Elizabeth also says she follows programmes that border on marriage and child upbringing to guide her marriage and parenting.

Another, Kwao Solomon however expressed regret that though they listen to various discussions on radio a lot, they are unable to call in to air their contributions due to bad network in the community.

Source: www.ghanaweb.com
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