Empowering the Maasai Community: Ensuring the Future of ORS-FM Community Radio Station
By Laurie Kent | Development Engineer
The ORS-FM Maasai Community Radio Station plays a pivotal role in providing essential services to over a million people in Tanzania. Operating primarily in Swahili and Maa languages, the station serves as a vital source of entertainment, news, and information for the Maasai community. However, the current lead acid battery system, which powers the station due to its off-grid location, has started to exhibit faults. This has significantly reduced the operational time of the station. To guarantee another decade of impactful service, it will be necessary to replace the lead acid batteries with modern lithium batteries.
The ORS-FM Maasai Community Radio Station is not just a radio station; it is a lifeline for the Maasai people. It serves as a primary source of news, information, and entertainment. Additionally, it plays a crucial role in preserving the Maasai culture, an integral aspect of local identity.
By supporting this project, we are not only sustaining a vital information hub but also preserving the rich cultural heritage of the Maasai people. Together, we can guarantee another decade of impactful service and positive change for this resilient community.
A slow quarter for fundraising, and in the community. The rains came normally (for the first time in 3 years), so everyone has been farming and planting. ORS has as usual been supporting the community with latest agronomic advice, discussion and of course weather updates.
We're still hoping to stabilise the power situation for the radio station, but for now, it's still broadcasting to its audience and achieving that critical community impact.
As ever, if you'd like to share with your friends and family, ORS FM will be very grateful for all and any support!
Some mixed news from community station ORS FM this quarter. With the help of your donations, the radio station has been able to make some repairs to their transmitter, so they again able to transmit at their full licenced power of 2kW for most of the time, to reach the greatest number of people possible.
The bad news is that the power draw of the repaired equipment is higher than it was before, so the power system keeps shutting down. When we were there in January, we managed to do a temporary repair to the power system, so the radio is able to stay running, but really it needs a more comprehensive overhaul to keep delivering services to the Maasai-speaking communities of Northern Tanzania.
With discussions about a new constitution, and issues of Maasai land rights raising their heads again, clear understandable communication to the Maasai community is as important as it has ever been.
As ever, if you would like to share this project link with friends and family, please do so, so we can continue to support ORS FM in its community mission together.
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