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PASME Radio - Community Radio Saves Trees

Petauke Association of Small and Medium Entrepreuers (PASME) radio was established in 2002 and was the third radio station in Eastern province, and the first to be established in Petauke.

Streams were drying up and there were high incidences of deforestation, so PASME radio saw an urgent need to raise awareness about them, through working with community listener groups and conducting radio debates with policy makers. Community radio listener groups meet every month to listen to specific programmes on PASME radio. It also engages what it refers to as “radio champions” that spread the message about environmental degradation and climate change.

In Kaduku village, the community has been influenced by PASME radio station, through their radio programmes on deforestation and its effects on trees. As a result, the community quickly realised that they needed to make a change, and protect their trees. The Deputy Headman expressed;

We are happy when we listen to the radio and learn about climate change and how it affects our lives. We have seen the differences in rain patterns over the years, and the radio presenters talk about it. This is because we have been cutting down trees, the radio station has taught us to stop this”, said Mr Emmanuel Banda, Deputy Headman of Kaduku village.

Having realised this, and with support from the Ministry of Agriculture in Zambia, the community planted a woodlot in their village, 11 years ago. This woodlot provides protection to the forest as when community needs to cut down trees, it will cut the trees from here. The tree species also grow quickly and are easily replanted.

WWF and the Zambian Governance Foundation are supporting PASME radio to continue its hard work on rasing awareness on climate change. The project focused on educating people about the critical connection between trees and rivers which resulted in a mindset shift, with people starting to practice conservation farming and finding alternative sources of incomes, from charcoal production. Furthermore, the community demarcated a piece of land which they committed not to cut trees from, in order to see the result.  This area is being reforested and there  has been a significant reduction in timber logging, and the number of illegal smugglers of charcoal. The  Kombo River , that used to dry up completely in the dry season, has also begun to flow. 
By Nchimunya K Banda/WWF

© Jasper Doest/ WWF
Members of Kaduku Village, listening to PASME radio