People of the country’s southern district Cox’s Bazar’s Teknaf upazila did not have a chance to listen to radio, as even the Bangladesh Betar cannot be heard from this very distant part.However, a community radio named Community Radio Naf was launched in this socio-economically lagged behind and natural disaster-prone upazila on April 21, 2012.
The community radio, establsihed under the patronization of private organisation Eklab – is currently operating between the hours of 8am to 10am, and 5pm to 7pm. All of its programs are pre-recorded, as live broadcast is yet to be initiated here. 30 people, including 6 employed staffs are working for this community radio.
Among the current program list of this radio – weather forecast, awareness raising news on biodiversity, citation form holy books, life and profession related songs and programs on safe drinking water are most important. However, it is difficult to assess the number of people listening to the Radio Naf, as no survey has so far been conducted to count the number. But about 2 lakh people live under 17 kilometer coverage of the station and according to the authority’s estimate, near 25 thousand people listen to the radio. 7 listeners club have been formed, by comprising children, teenagers and women. The clubs are showing interest for making programs.
Local administration, cultural activists, small merchants, fishermen and farmers are gradually being interested in Rado Naf. They are giving their own opinions about making new programs. The local people started treating Radio Naf as their own, because they don’t have any opportunity to participate in other broadcasting media.
However, electricity crisis is the toughest challenge of Rado Naf, as power usually goes off during programs. In addition, volunteers are leaving the radio for not getting remuneration for their labor. At this moment creating a source of income is the only way to save the radio.
Staffs and volunteers of Radio Naf have received training on different subjects, but more training is necessary for news making, editing and other technical and vocational issues.
Initiators are expecting that Radio Naf will become the best medium of infotainment for the local people, especially for the fishermen. The sea bound fishermen have to remain worried over the possibility of deadly natural disasters, like sea-storms, and tornados. Many of them sometimes have to lose lives because of not getting correct weather signals on time. Radio Naf is trying to serve the fishermen with appropriate news on weather in due time. They forecast weather through taking information from Coz’s Bazar met office.
Station manager Mohammad Aminul Islam informed that most of the people of Teknaf are fishermen; they depend on fishing in deep sea for their livelihoods. Eklab has established this community radio, aiming at serving these people with entertainment, local market prices and weather forecasts.
Radio Naf 99.2
Nurmahal, Puratan Pallanpara
Teknaf, Cox’s bazar
Cell: 01712 810626, 01823 153475