Radio Station Brings News To Villages

October 1, 2008

Imagine living in a remote village in Afghanistan, where obtaining news from the outside world was almost impossible. In many of the villages, they are so remote, that conditions are primitive at best. People are often isolated and cut-off from the rest of the world.
For we Americans, who are used to having the luxury of our radios, televisions, newpapers and telephones just a fingertip away, it’s hard to imagine what life must be like for the people living in those villages. I know for myself, I would feel very isolated and out of touch with the world.

Sarwar and Islamuddin, the Bermel Radio station jockeys, located on Forward Operating Base Boris, Paktika province, broadcast religious services, play music, educational programs and spread news 13 hours a day to the local area.


In Afghanistan, citizens are now able to have more of an idea what’s occurring in the world, with the opening of a new radio station, “The People’s Radio, located at 92 FM on their radio dial. The creation of the radio station was done with the idea of providing news, advice and education to the villagers. Currently the station, located at Forward Operating Base Boris operates 13 hours per day, throughout the district of Bermel, which is located in eastern Paktika province.

Currently the station is providing over 11 different types of programs. They cover almost every aspect of life for the people in the local villages. The programs range from work and agriculture to health and education. The station also features programs that are specific to women, as well as religious service programs.2

Operating the station are Sarwar, who is a former agricultural professor at Khowst University and Islamuddin, who is an advisor that has over 10 years of agricultural experience. The operate the station as well as host most of the broadcasts.

“We try to do as much as we can for the people here,” Sawar said. “We even meet with them and teach them as much as we can about agriculture. It’s a big part of life for them and we want to make it better for them.”3

So far, the local villagers have responded favorably to the new radio station and the information that it provides to them. The radio station has been in operation for 5 months and thus far have received over 7,000 letters from citizens. Most of the feedback has been positive. Letters run the gamut from offering praise, to making suggestions, asking questions or requesting other programming. The response from the citizens has been so good, that plans are in the works to expand the station. Currently it is operating on a 50 watt system, which has a listening range of 15000-17000sq km. Plans are to upgrade that to a 500 watt system, which will increase the listening range over 10 times to what it is currently, or closer to 170,000 sq. km.

Funding and support for the radio station are provided by Internatinal Security Assistance Forces, which also assists the operations of 9 other radio stations in the Paktika province. It’s great to see these positive steps being taken in Afghanistan. Just knowing what has been accomplished in Iraq and the improvements that have been made, gives me hope that we’ll begin seeing many similar changes in Afghanistan as well, including more radio and television stations, to ensure that those in isolated regions of the country can have contact with the rest of the world, if that is their choice.

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One Response to “Radio Station Brings News To Villages”

  1. Radio Station Brings News To Villages on October 1st, 2008 1:26 am

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