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Feel Free Radio is a youth radio station located in Chipata, Eastern province in Zambia. It transmits to Chipata, Mambwe and Vubwi district. Its vision is to perfect the art of broadcasting.
“We fought hard to get here. By God’s grace, three months after the test transmission, we were running a full transmission”, said Maria Mafuleka.
Over the years, the radio has noticed the effects of climate change in Eastern province and how different areas that used to be pristine are being deforested and encroached, and decided to raise awareness about this. With support from WWF and the Zambian Governance Foundation, Feel Free radio raised community awareness on the detrimental effects of water pollution, deforestation and unsustainable farming methods. It used radio programmes, panel discussions, advertisements and drama series, to educate farmers and the community on how to effectively manage its water resources. The radio station also worked with its community listener groups to disseminate this information to areas that did not have radio coverage.
Through these efforts, there has been a change of attitude and behavior in the targeted community members, who have committed to finding alternatives to charcoal production and have started practicing conservation farming. Community members also formed forest management groups in order to protect their forests and a dumping site that was located close to the Lunkhwakwa River was relocated to a different area.
By Nchimunya K Banda/WWF