ISLAMABAD: An international NGO has called upon the Government of Pakistan to set up at least 30 non-commercial radio stations in various flood-hit districts. An assessment mission organised by AMARC, the world association of community radio, in a press conference on Saturday urged the importance of community-based radio stations in those districts that were severely affected by the recent floods.
President AMARC Steve Buckley and Secretary General Pakistan Press Foundation Owais Aslam Ali said the proposed radio stations will help flood-relief activities in the areas and help people in their rehabilitation efforts.
Buckley said the devastation caused by the flood could have been reduced if community radio stations were operational in the country. “We observed that in many flood-hit areas people have little to no access to print or electronic media. Radio, being the cheapest means of communication, can help fill the existing gap,” he said.
He praised the work being done by the local FM radio stations and said the authorities needed to support their “vital work” of providing information and voice for the flood-affected communities.
This support, he said, could come in the form of hiring community correspondents that will capture the voice and experiences of people in these areas.
AMARC is an international NGO serving the community radio movement in over 110 countries, and advocating for the right to communicate at the international, national, local and neighbourhood levels, according to a press handout.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 10th, 2010.