In light of the current drought that we are currently facing, in February 2016 we ran four radio programmes on rainwater harvesting and conservation for promotion of food security. These programmes emphasised the need to think and plan ahead by choosing best rainwater harvesting practices suiting their needs. The programmes occurred on Forte FM which is a community radio station situated in Alice.
During our time on the radio, there was an increase in listenership which was seen from an increase in the number of times listeners visit the Amanzi for Food website and started following by liking the Amanzi for Food Facebook page. For instance, there was an increase in new visitors of 44.6% which was seen from an increase of 42.9% to 87.5% between the first and the third show. In addition there was knowledge expansion from the Imvothu Bubomi Learning Network because they have made the practices their own and sharing their stories by articulating different rainwater harvesting practices.
Most of the feedback received was encouraging as it was commending the need for harvesting rainwater in order to prolong the crop production period. Our time on radio thus far has seen more people each time being interested and awakening to this need because the interest from listeners has been increasing.
The shows were structured around the theme of different common rainwater harvesting practices which were centred on the principle of catching and storing rainwater for crop production in light of promoting food security. The panellists in studio were mainly lecturers, farmers and agriculture extension services. This was done so that the listeners may get a whole picture of both technical and lived experience.
Diversifying the panellists was a good idea as it catered for different listeners needs, for example the farmers could relate with farmer guest speaker, college student could relate with college lecturers when they were talking on radio. The farmers input was very important as they the people that are working on the ground, they were more descriptive by talking from their lived experiences about their practices and also the use of local language made it easier for the listeners to grasp the concepts and understand.
The shows were broadcasted between February and March 2016, on Forte FM 88.2 radio station and the Amanzi for Food Imvothu Bubomi Learning Network members were the experts on the panel.
By Chisala Lupele