Radion in a Box (RIAB) shipped to Nepal
RNW/Daniel Maissan

RNW Media ships mobile radio stations to quake-hit Nepal

RNW Media has supplied mobile radio stations to two earthquake-ravaged regions in Nepal. The “Radios in a box” were sent to restore communication in two agricultural areas, each situated around 100 kilometres from the capital Kathmandu.

It took RNW Media’s Technical Coordinator Marc Brouwer a three-hour drive eastwards on dirt roads to reach Krishi Radio,  the “First and only Agricultural Radio of Nepal”, with a reach of around 25,000 people in the valley.



The second RIAB went northeast of the capital to Radio Melamchi Community in the mountainous village of Sindhulpalchok, one of the regions hit worst by the April earthquake.

Disaster zones.
The RIAB is a small mobile radio station specially designed for use in war zones or disaster areas where radio transmitters have been destroyed.  With both stations situated on top of mountains, the transmitter range is at least 15 kilometers. Brouwer provided a crash course in operating the RIAB for staff at both stations.



Less than a cubic metre in size, the portable Radio in a Box is equipped with an FM transmitter, a mixing console, microphones, headphones, two recorder sets and a laptop computer for editing.

Monsoon
“We arrived just in time,” Brouwer says. “It was just before the monsoon season and we were lucky to get back to Kathmandu before the heavy rains started coming down. Our journey would have taken much longer in the pouring rain.”

“Besides, the monsoon season is when farmers in these areas rely the most heavily on the practical information aired by these specialised radio stations. They had cobbled together a makeshift transmitter themselves, but are now fully up and running with the Radio in a Box.”



Gratitude
The RNW Media crew appreciated the warm traditional welcome with shawls which they received at both stations.

As a token of gratitude, Krishi Radio presented Brouwer with a plaque reading:

“Heartfelt thanks to RNW, Netherlands for providing the radio transmission equipment to Krishi Radio, Nepal. Krishi Radio had been totally destroyed by earthquake on 29th April 2015. We hope RNW will be always with us for the betterment of Nepalese farmers and agriculture.”
 

All photographs © RNW Media/Daniel Maissan

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