Maasai Conservation Radio

Serengeti Watch is funding radio programming in Maasai communities around the Serengeti, both to bring awareness of cultural, economic, and conservation issues, and to bring a wider forum for discussion of these.

morani-listening-radio-editedRadio is now a highly accessible medium among Maasai communities. Not only do people own radios, with many listeners per set, but radio broadcasts can be received widely by cell phones.

The Serengeti Preservation Foundation, a Tanzanian NGO, is administering the program in conjunction with a UNESCO sponsored Maasai radio station, Loliondo FM 107.7.  The Director of the Serengeti Preservation Foundation is himself of Maasai culture, as is the manager of the radio station. Programs will be broadcast in both Swahili and Maa languages. SPF states its mission as:  involving the communities by giving them the platform to share the traditional values with modern conservation. It strives to be a two-way dialogue.

Jamii na Uhifadhi, which means Community and Conservation in Swahili, is broadcast weekly from 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm, on an off-market day. It will then be re-broadcast on another day, totaling eight hours per month.

The program is divided into the following segments:

  • 20 Minutes. Elimu ya Uhifadhi  (Conservation Knowledge) This segment is pre-recorded in Arusha with support from Tanzania National Parks, and talks about conservation, why it’s important, and benefits of conservation to the community
  • 10 Minutes. Habari za Uhifadhi (Conservation News) News of the past week about conservation in Tanzania and globally.
  • 20 Minutes. Maoni, Ushauri na Changamoto  (Listener comments, questions and advice)  Listeners are encouraged to be part of the program: to call, text and email their comments to be aired during the segment. Listeners will be able to address conservation challenges in their communities. Questions will be answered in the next program.
  • 5 Minutes. Je Wajua (Did You Know?) This segment will provide general information about wildlife, especially directed at a younger audience.
  • 5 Minutes. Wrap-up End up the session and invite listeners to the next program.

Planned programming  

  • Maasai Cultural Heritage. These broadcasts will include discussions of traditional Maasai values and ideas about nature and conservation and how these can be translated into a modern setting. Elders will be given opportunities to discuss how attitudes toward nature have shaped Maasai life.
  • Radio Drama. An original radio series that helps dramatize issues and conflicts inherent in growing up as a young person in today’s Maasai world.

To support this programming, email: [email protected]