Islanders Struggling with access to Information as main broadcaster remains unoperational

Access to Information for Islanders living in the Ssese archipelago, Kalangala District has remained a challenge since the main Broadcaster in the area brokedown.

Kalangala Community Radio (KCR 99.8 fm) went off air in January 2018 after lightning struck the station’s equipment including the antennas on the station Mast, the Transmitter and on air consel.

The station was months later, in March 2018 suspended by the Uganda Communications Commission for failure to pay annual license fees for the past seven years.

The breakdown of the station however left people living in the 84 islands that make up the district with no access to Information since the broadcaster went off air.

Many of the Islanders are predominantly fisher folk, struggling with poor service delivery especially in the health sector.

“Most of our people are HIV Positive patients and relied on the station to offer information on when they would recieve ART (Anti Retroviral Therapy) drugs since health workers move to the different landing sites once in a while. Now, we struggle with poor Network to call the different people,” Says Willy Lugoloobi, the District Chairperson.

The Kalangala Community Radio Station Manager Angella Nakafeero says they need up to UGX 110 million (About 31,000 USD) to pay license arrears, repair the antennas, pay and recruit staff and also repair the Transmitter and the electricity lines if they are to operate again.

“The station has no such money currently. We appeal to all partners to support our cause of disseminating information to the people in the island district.” Nakafeero says.

The radio is owned by the Kalangala civil society advocacy groups which are also struggling with major funding gaps.

Islanders now request good will ambassadors to donate to their cause of reoperationalizing Kalangala Community Radio to ensure effective communication within the District.

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