World Association for Christian Communication (WACC)

The World Association for Christian Communication (WACC) is an international organization that promotes communication as a basic human right, essential to people's dignity and community. Rooted in Christian faith, WACC works with all those denied the right to communicate because of status, identity, or gender. It advocates full access to information and communication, and promotes open and diverse media. WACC strengthens networks of communicators to advance peace, understanding and justice.
Aug 28, 2012

Overcoming lack of information in the Mid-Sepik Valley, Papua New Guinea

The construction of a copper and gold mine will have a serious impact on the lives of indigenous people living in a remote corner of Papua New Guinea, affecting the environment and the local economy and culture.

Struggling for justice and presenting their case requires villagers on the Middle Sepik River to have access to information and communication. And yet a survey carried out in the Upper and Middle Sepik villages confirms that there has been little sharing of information on the part of the Xstrata mining company or the Government of PNG.

Undertaken by the Sepik Wetlands Management Initiative (SWMI) with support from WACC, the survey  assessed awareness and knowledge regarding the potential social, economic, cultural, political and environmental impacts of the new mining complex on the region and its inhabitants.

Between 13 and 16 of April a team of three resource persons, a boat skipper and an assistant travelled from village to village to gather data and conduct interviews and meetings with the local people. In all, 16 villages along the Sepik River were visited: Kamanjaw, Ambunti, Sanaut, Korough, Suatmeri, Indavu, Yentchen, Kanganamun, Tigawi, Kararau, Kamanimbit, Indingai, Aibom and Kandinge.

The findings show that while 7% knew of the mining company’s presence in the villages, 93% had no proper awareness of the potential impact of the mine on the community. Villagers raised serious concerns that the mining company is not doing enough to inform people of its plans. The same concern exists among the community with regards the government of PNG.

With regard to impact of the mine on the community, all the villages showed great fear and concern that the mine and its supporting infrastructure will have serious biophysical, social , cultural and economic consequences on the Sepik River communities. The survey determined that the biophysical environment is the single most important factor that connects the lives of all the people in the Sepik River region. Any detrimental impact on the biophysical environment will affect the food chain as well as the river communities socially, economically and culturally.

The report recommends that the mining company conducts proper awareness and information sessions among all the affected communities; that an association is formed incorporating three smaller groupings from the Upper, Middle and Lower Sepik River communities; and that social infrastructure services must be in place prior to the commissioning of the mine.

After sharing of the results of the survey with NGOs and the communities themselves, the project began planning a similar survey in the Lower Sepik and the formal organization of the association that will represent the interest of the villages before the mining company and the government of PNG.

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Jun 29, 2012

Radio Station Equipment Successfully Arrives

Radio Station Equipment
Radio Station Equipment

Radio Station Equipment Successfully Arrives in Freetown

 

Thank you to the many people around the world who have donated to Radio Shalom.  Your donations have been used to buy equipment including antennae, microphones, computers and audio recorders.  This equipment was shipped from the Netherlands to Sierra Leone on May 7, 2012.  Having traveled more than 5000 km, the equipment has now reached Freetown.  This week our project partner, Council of Churches in Sierra Leone, cleared the equipment with customs and transported it from the docks.  They are now unpacking and installing the equipment and setting up the radio station.  Rev. Solomon Campbell, officer-in-charge of the Ecumenical Department of Council of Churches in Sierra Leone is looking forward to begin broadcasting soon.  An opening ceremony is taking place next month.

 

In the meantime, the Ecumenical Department is finalizing details on programming and content in preparation for the official launch of Radio Shalom.  With a focus on peaceful conflict resolution, Radio Shalom will work with citizens to find and promote solutions to the country's many problems such as poverty, unemployment and corruption.  Donations to Radio Shalom will help the people of Sierra Leone to reconstruct their country which is still recovering from over a decade of civil war.

 

Thanks to the contributions of individuals and groups, more than USD 8000 has been raised to date.  The fundraising continues at: http://www.globalgiving.org/projects/build-a-radio-station-for-peace-in-sierra-leone/

Students in Sierra Leone
Students in Sierra Leone

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