Sayabouly communities on air

Jun 7, 2016

Photo: UNDP Lao PDR/Chelsey Parish

About 20,000 villagers from 27 ethnic communities in the district can now tune in to FM98.8 MHz, the frequency of Khop Community Radio. The station was launched today in the presence of senior officials from the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Sayabouly provincial government, officials from Khop District, development partners, radio volunteers and community representatives.

Khop Community Radio piloted its broadcast in July last year and has been receiving positive feedback from local listeners since the beginning. Radio shows on education, agriculture, local trade, health, culture, legal awareness and security, adaptation to a changing climate, human trafficking and migration, amongst others, have been provoking engagement from local communities.

The radio station is managed by the local community under the leadership of the Sayabouly provincial government with support from 44 radio volunteers. “I want to help develop our community by giving them information and knowledge through my radio programme promoting the welfare of women and children,” said Ms. Souphin Sounanthavong, a radio volunteer.

The audience includes six different ethnic groups in the district. Radio coverage reaches as far as nearby districts in Bokeo Province. 

Speaking at the launch event, H.E. Savankhone Razmountry, Vice Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism, urged all involved local actors, provincial and district authorities and the Khop community to work closely together, provide guidance and contribution, and support the radio station in order to fulfill its potential as a tool for community development. “Through community radio, local communities are able to access information that will guide them in decision making, share their opinion, exchange knowledge and experience, and demonstrate their traditional practices and cultures,” the Vice Minister added.

Since 2006, a total of eight community radio stations has been established under the Community Participation and Communication Support Programme, a partnership of the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism, UNDP, Oxfam, and the provincial governments of Xieng Khouang, Sekong, Oudomxay, Saravan, and Sayabouly. These radio stations serve rural areas in Laos and reach 288,000 people, many of whom belong to different ethnic groups.

“Aligned with the country’s development strategy, our common objective is to let everyone’s voices be heard. Community radio empowers the sharing of many perspectives, including those of women and members of the different ethnic groups that make up Lao society,” said UNDP Resident Representative Ms. Kaarina Immonen at the launch event. 

For more information, contact:

Ms. Oraxone Vissapra, Programme Officer, UNDP Lao PDR, Tel: 021 267 729, oraxone.vissapra@undp.org

Mr. Bounhap Souligno, CPCS Programme Manager Deputy Director General, Mass Media Department, Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism, Tel: 021-254 601, cpcs.programme@gmail.com