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Zambia / Radio / AIDS - 2002-06-27

In many parts of rural Zambia, radio is the main source of information on major national issues.

Reporter kellys kaunda, who's on a special assignment in the Copperbelt region of Zambia,takes a close look at the efforts of radio Icengelo, a community radio supported by the Catholic church,aimed at creating AIDS awareness in the region.

Boyd Chibale is a producer, presenter and a reporter with Radio Icengelo. He presents a program called Positive Living.

He says, “It's a one hour phone-in program. We get experts to respond to questions posed by callers."

On average, Mr. Chibale says there're twenty callers during the presentation of a particular program which he says encourages the radio station.

But he says people in rural areas do not take part in the program making it difficult for the station to know whether they're benefiting from the program or not.

He says, “They normally complain that they cannot afford to write because they cannot afford the price of postage stamps. We learn these things when we visit them once in a while".

While radio is a major source of information, Mr. Chibale says there're factors that might make it difficult for people in rural areas to tune in and listen to the programs. "These areas have no electricity and most of them cannot afford the cost of batteries even if they had radios".

Radio Icengelo, based in Kitwe, operates 24 hours and services almost all the six major towns on the Copperbelt.