February 23, 2015 By Victoria Saffa
With support from a former peace corps in Sierra Leone, the Independent Radio Network (IRN) has donated 700 watts transmitters and studio link to five radio stations across the country.
The five beneficiary radio stations are Radio Konike in Yelle town, Radio Mankneh in Makeni, Eastern Radio in Kono, Choice FM in Freetown and Bintumani Radio in Kabala.
Making a statement during the donation, Tiana Alpha of Sky Radio FM stated that the donated items would capacitate radio stations to deliver information to grassroots people in their respective communities as IRN has had the desire to promote partner radio stations.
Ms. Alpha implored the beneficiaries to make good and proper use of the equipment, adding that IRN’s effort in the fight against Ebola couldn’t be overemphasized.
IRN Regional Coordinator East, Ahmed G. Kallon, noted that in the past 12 years various radio stations have partnered to disseminate information to the people of Sierra Leone, thus promoting the general good with the desire to provide timely and accurate information to grassroots communities.
Kallon encouraged the beneficiaries to strive for accuracy, independence, adding that approximately 27 radio stations are part of the IRN. He pledged that they would continue to solicit support to boost other radio stations in remote rural communities.
Also, President of the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists (SLAJ), Kelvin Lewis, noted that journalists were extremely happy because IRN is capacitating five partners, noting that the network has served communities throughout the Ebola sensitization campaign and has made SLAJ proud, especially in the fight against Ebola.
Lewis described the donation as timely because it would help push the ‘Yellow Ribbon Campaign’, SLAJ’s flagship campaign in the fight to zero Ebola case in the country. He added that the equipment will not only help the recipient radio stations now, but also during the post-Ebola era as IRN had enhanced the capacity of promoting partner radio stations in disseminating information to grassroots people.
Giving a background about the donor, IRN Board Chairman, Andrew Kromah, said the donor, Christopher Hamlet, has been supporting radio stations in West Africa and that when he was a peace corps in Sierra Leone he promoted Radio Moa in Kailahun.
Kromah said the five 700 watts transmitters and studio link were being provided to radio stations that are in deprived communities, noting that the equipment came as a response from the donor who was asked by IRN to help radio stations.
Before handing over the equipment, IRN National Coordinator, Ransford Wright, said that they were desirous for communities to live in a well-informed environment, and urged the radio stations to uphold their values and ensure that their respective communities benefit from credible information.
He said no radio station would operate without a transmitter, and that they have been donating to radio stations across the country and would continue to capacitate their partners