FRR India sent 2 team members to Kerala state on 13th Aug after the worst flooding in around 100 years had led the government to evacuate around 64000 people to IDP camps. While assessing the situation and interviewing affected community members, NGOs and local government, the team found themselves in the midst of further heavy rains and flooding - quickly changed tack and produced programmes broadcast via a local AM station giving information about emergency relief.
The local AM station provided FRR India with 15min slots on 4 consecutive days during which they also provided information and advice to people who were in IDP camps. For many this there first ever experience of displacement. FRR India has two more slots this weekend on the local AM station. People are returning to their homes and from FRR India's past experience this is the time to advise people on dealing with snakes, dead animals and good hygienic practices. Alongside these very practical concerns, FRR radio programmes can help people who are dealing with grief and the trauma that goes along with losing all your belongings or your home.
Following the series of 6+ earthquakes in the last couple of weeks, the FRR Indonesia team are on the air in North Lombok on 97.7FM. The Suitcase Studio, transmitter and antenna are all set up, ready to provide life saving information and establish 2-way communications with the affected community.
FRR successfully launched a new FRR team in Pakistan in March 2018. Thanks to hosts HCR Pakistan, a new team of 15 people is equipped, trained and ready to respond should an emergency need arise. Representatives from Pakistan Red Crescent, Prime Minister's Office, Pakistan Relief, Pakistan Mission Society and FCTP completed the FRR training workshop and field trial. We are grateful to these organisations for putting forward such quality candidates for the course and also to PEMRA, NDMA and Tearfund for providing excellent guest speakers. Thanks also go to our hosts, VoK FM105.4 who allowed the FRR team to use their radio station during the 72 hr field trial in Muzzafarabad. During the trial the team prepared and broadcast program content related to disaster recovery, preparedness and aired survivors' stories in a community that had been devastated by a major earthquake in 2005. HCR Pakistan’s CEO, Hazeen Latif says “we have the equipment, the team and the passion to collaborate with NDMA, PEMRA and other humanitarian actors to save lives and stimulate recovery when everything is lost in a disaster.”
In August 2017 large parts of Bihar were flooded along with other parts of North India, Nepal and Bangladesh. First Response Radio (FRR) India responded with dedicated radio programmes providing vital relief information, psychosocial support and opportunities for affected communities to communicate with authorities and each other.
Bihar Case Study
When people were in chaos, FRR India programmes provided a local presence with reliable and timely information, which facilitated a return to stability. The programmes helped bridge between government organisations, NGOs and the affected communities. On-the-ground teams and helplines to trauma counselling provided listening ears so that communication was truly local and truly two-way.
Reaching out to disaster hit Pacific communities via radio
First Response Radio, or FRR, is a network of radio broadcasters, NGOs and government partners whose goal is to set up temporary radio stations for communities affected by major disasters.
FRR works mainly in Asia but is keen to develop partnerships in the Pacific region.
The international co-ordinator of FRR, Mike Adams, told Moera Tuilaepa Taylor when it all started.
In October 2017 FRR trainers Mike Adams and Alan Fotheringham were in Kathmandu, Nepal to do 'radio in disaster' training with Radio Nepal. Working in partnership with BBC Media Action – Nepal, FRR was helping to strengthen their resilience through four practical days of class work and a one day field trial with the Suitcase Radio equipment.
After 5 days in the classroom FRR training moved onto 3 days in the field. The new team broke the world's record and set up the full FM radio station and started broadcasting in 16 minutes! The Field Trial continues in Pidie Jaya, the location of Aceh's December 2016 earthquake that affected more than 80,000 people.