Monday, February 04, 2013

Cameroon: Community Radio Helps Cameroonians Track Climate Change

Limbe — "Climate and weather tory. Wona lookot!" "Climate and weather news! Pay attention!"

The announcement, made in pidgin English, catches the attention of listeners to Eden Radio, a community station in the coastal town of Limbe, in Cameroon's Southwest Province.

"Put ear for Eden Radio for sabi weti weather for tomorrow di talk," the radio announcer continues, telling listeners to stay tuned for the weather forecast.

This is the introduction to a daily 30-minute programme providing locals with updates on weather and issues related to climate change - news that could affect their lives and livelihoods as Cameroon struggles to cope with increasingly extreme weather.

Some 40 community radio stations in this West African country are now incorporating disaster warning information into their programming, as part of a joint effort with the government to educate local people about climate change and the need to take preventative measures to deal with extreme weather.

Under a recent agreement between the country's ministry of communication and stations in areas vulnerable to the effects of climate change, the government is helping to finance the new programmes.

"We are aware of the important role community radios play in sensitizing the local masses, given their ... adaptation to the local reality of the people," the minister of communication, Issa Tchiroma Bakary, explained in December in Limbe, at a two-day training workshop about the new radio programmes.

The government has been supporting non-state media since 2009, with licensed community and commercial radios each receiving 1.6-2.4 million West African CFA francs (about $3,300-4,900) a year. The new agreement will double the level of aid given to the 40 community stations involved.

(Source : Alertnet via

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