"Thanks to Radio Muhabura, we now feel empowered to talk freely about water and sanitation. Previously, there were fears that exposing the challenges would be interpreted as criticising the government", Alice from Kisoro District in Uganda. ACORD in the South Western region of Uganda is making good use of community radio to reach out to community members from Kisoro District with messages about the need for clean water. Radio programmes are being used to raise awareness of community members on safe water and also facilitate collaboration between the community, local leaders and water provision teams.
ACORD is supporting its partner the Good Samaritan Community Development Programme (GOSAP) whose major role is to popularise policy implementation and improve accountability in water, sanitation and hygiene in the western region of Uganda.
Radio Muhabura journalist collecting views
from community members.
GOSAP is taking the lead in mobilising communities through advocacy committees which identify water and sanitation issues of concern in a particular area. The Kisoro community selects people to participate as panelist during live talk shows which are moderated by the experienced Radio Muhabura staff. GOSAP supports Radio Muhabura staff in conducting interviews with the affected communities. The interview sessions are then recorded and broadcast during the talk shows to enrich the live discussions.
Radio talk shows have increased the access to information not only for the people of Kisiro District but also for the neighboring areas which has in turn improved on the water, sanitation and hygiene situation in the region. The listenership for Radio Muhabura is estimated at 15 million people. The coverage extends to Northern Rwanda, Eastern DR Congo, Northern Tanzania, Hoima in North West Uganda and Mbale in Eastern Uganda. The project is funded by the Global Transparency Fund through the local partner, Uganda Water and Sanitation NGO Network (UWASNET).