This week the EU participated in an Online Listening Session facilitated by the Namibia Community Broadcasters Network (NCBN) to gain insights on what and how community media have been covering issues around the coronavirus pandemic. This is part of an EU funded project, which was initiated in April this year with the participation of six radio stations and journalists covering over four regions in Namibia. The aim of the project was to assist the beneficiaries in creating informative radio content in English and local languages in order to raise awareness, update and educate the small towns and rural communities about Covid-19 and to provide local updates to the nation. One of the key elements of the project has been to follow a bottom-up approach to inform the nation from community level on current information about the pandemic, solicit their inputs and develop relevant content in a practical and user-friendly manner. For instance one of the sessions explained the importance of businesses being registered and how they can do it. This was especially important as businesses are not able to access support packages from government ( provided to support SMEs as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic) without being registered. Furthermore, platforms were created to share experiences and knowledge during this pandemic and e.g. teachers and nurses described their situations and how they addressed some of the challenges.
Community radio stations and journalists also linked up with national and local stakeholders, such as the ministry of health, education, finance and Covid-19 Communication Centre as well as the Namibian Broadcasting Corporation to receive and extend credible and timeous information. “We are excited about the feedback received from community radio stations about the impact this project has had in informing communities and to share content that is relevant, current and useful to the people. Radio still remains one of the best mediums to reach the public and especially rural communities” said EU Press Officer Susan Lewis at the event.