VIFESA, Lake Victoria Region, Tanzania

Interactive Community Radio Programmes for Small Scale Producers

Livelihood Development through Interactive Community Radio Programmes for Small Scale Producers around Lake Victoria Region

Partner Organisation:
Address: VIFESA (Victoria Feasible Development
Alternative), P.O. Box 173, Magu, Mwanza, Tanzania

Project Duration:
March 2011 - December 2012

VIFESA is a non-governmental Community Based Organisation (CBO), which was officially established in January 1995, purposely to offer entertainment and help curb the spread of HIV infection among the community, employing various measures; of which video tape screening is a major one. Since then, VIFESA extended its activities. VIFESA is now engaged in key issues of the community, namely social, economic and cultural development. A special emphasis is placed on food and nutrition security, whereby VIFESA is trying to address challenges towards meeting the country's food and nutrition security goals - food safety, dietary diversification, and so on.

Project Objective
Tanzania is a country with a population of around 42 million, and it is estimated that about 10 million people live along the coastline around Lake Victoria. Most of these inhabitants are small scale producers depending largely on subsistence farming, small scale fishing and pastoralism. Access to reliable, timely and relevant content information is a precondition for small scale producers to increase their production and improve their livelihood.

But, the existing community radio stations "have weak capacity and resource footing to deliver high quality programmes". The project supported by Stem van Afrika therefore aims to increase the capacity of five
local community radio stations to produce and air radio programmes which target small scale farmers in the Lake Victoria Region, to further their economic knowledge and provide information that could promote agricultural production.

Actions and Schedule
During the two year project phase, implementation of the following activities are in progress:      

  • Capacity building activities for twenty community radio broadcasters and managers, as well as ten
  • Development of content and production/broadcasting of radio programmes through five community
    radio stations (Radio SAUT FM, Radio Sengerema, Radio FADECO, Radio Faraja FM
    and Radio Karangwe) in the Lake Victoria region.
  • Facilitation of technology convergence to foster interactivity, such as the use of mobile
    phones by community radio stations.
  • Dissemination of innovative project information and examples through flyers, posters and the
    VIFESA website.
  • Project implementation, monitoring and evaluation meetings, including quarterly VIFESA
    members meetings, stakeholder meetings, community forum meetings, etc.  

Activities implemented so far
A four days capacity building workshop/training on production techniques and interactive radio formats was conducted at Saint Augustine University (SAUT) in Mwanza. A "supervision team" of radio directors
and VIFESA members was established, which monitors and screens radio productions of the participating stations on a monthly basis. The "supervision team" provides feedback on the programmes to the stations and recommends "good" radio programmes for multiplication to other stations in the region. Up to now,
40 radio feature programmes of 30 minutes duration each have been aired. Besides, four radio stations - as well as the VIFESA office - were equipped with multimedia computers. Flyers (in Kiswahili and English) with project information were produced and disseminated within the communities located in the region.