Radio Surghar understands the importance of radio for local people. “We reflect the issues of our community in our radio programs, and we encourage the authorities to respond to community problems and to carry out necessary develop-ment projects in our district,” says Surghar Radio Station Manager Ahmad Khan.
Radio Surghar in Zabul Province
In Afghanistan, due to low literacy levels, limited power and poor infrastructure, local radio is still the cheapest and most effective way for rural residents to stay informed about local and national news and information.
With national illiteracy pegged at around 70 percent, radio is able to bridge the information rich - information poor divide.
To satisfy the strong demand for news and information, USAID’s Afghanistan Media Development and Empowerment Project (AMDEP) has established more than forty local radio stations across the provinces of Afghanistan. These local, independent stations are owned and run by local communities, and broadcast a mixture of local and national programs.
Radio Surghar is based in Shahjoi District in Zabul province, in southeastern Afghanistan. It broadcasts for eleven hours a day, including three hours of the national radio service Salam Watandar, making the station a vital information lifeline.
USAID helped the installation of a 35-meter tower for Radio Surghar in the summer of 2011. The tower replaced a temporary mast and gave the station a much larger broadcast footprint. USAID also provided five days of technical training in radio station operations. Local people provided the land for the station and built a perimeter wall for better security.
Zabul Local Radio Reaches New Heights