August 26, 2010, Kathmandu: The World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters (AMARC) and the Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF) have appealed to the Government of Pakistan and Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) to allow setting up of emergency community radio stations in areas that have suffered from the current floods in Pakistan.
In a statement issued here the authorities have been asked to be “flexible and responsive to proposals for the establishment of community based broadcasting mechanisms so that any information gap that exists among the affected people is fulfilled and relief operations are made highly effective.”
AMARC has also offered its ‘knowledge and expertise in setting up emergency broadcasting mechanisms, gathered from working around the world in similar situations of natural disasters“.
Community radios have played an important role in different times, specially in times of natural disaster for aiding relief operations as well as for supporting rehabilitation and rebuilding. Good examples in this respect are earthquakes of Haiti and Chile where AMARC played an important role in facilitating the setting up of emergency broadcasting stations. It was not so long ago that community radios were brought to the forefront of the efforts to provide relief and rehabilitate those affected by the tsunami and floods in Indonesia.
AMARC and PPF highly appreciate the valuable work being carried out by radio stations in the flood affected areas. There is a need to complement theses efforts by bridging the gaps of information at the very local levels and among displaced peoples. This can be effectively achieved by setting up emergency community radio stations.