Thursday, February 01, 2007

Amiriguiz FM, the messenger of Tamaya

A radio for – and by - the community

The village of Tamaya is a rural community of the department of Abalak. It was born after the droughts of 1973 ans 1984, that decimated the breeders’ stock. From this moment on, populations started to establish themselves along the “uranium road”, the road that crosses the country to join Arlit, the mining city of Niger. Until 2003, when the radio was created, the vilage of Tamaya did not have access to any information source.

In 2001, the idea of creating a community radio is launched by Youssouf Alhaji and some friends, Mohamed Hamed and Kidik Inzigarene.

Two years of waiting...

In Niger, to create or install a community radio, the iniators of the project must organize in an official association, then obtain a broadcsating authorization with a specific frequency that only the High Council of Communication can deliver. All these formalities can really slow the process down. Moreover, everything is played out from Niamey, the capital , which is very far away from Tamaya.

The Association for the Promotion of the Tamaya Community Radio was created and got the technical and financial support of the United Nations Development Program , through the dutch NGO SNV-Niger.

The team still had to wait for two years before the community radio « Amiriguiz » (the Messenger in Tamajaq) could finally emit its first program, on Januaery 1st 2003, at 9 :00 AM.

Sensibilizing and informing

When i twas created, the Tamaya radio had 14 employees, out of which 9 were women.

The radio emits on a radius of 30 km, which enables it to reach a population of nomadic stockbreeders. The Tamaya radio has payed an important role in sensibilizing and informing the population on important themes:

∑ health concerns,
∑ schooling of nomadic children and in particular of nomadic young girls,
∑ early marriage,
∑ environmental concerns.

More recently, in October 2006, the Tamaya radio allowed NGO Tagaste to launch a campaign against plastic refuse.

Amiriguiz FM today

Today the radio encounters numerous difficulties (lack of technical equipment, lack of financial means, lack of employees), but hope is still here.

Radio Nomade, from Agadez, will collaborate with Amiriguiz and some of its programs will soon be broadcast on Tamaya’s radio frequency.

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