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Radio contact

The design story

In rural towns like Chanta Alta, people can only communicate by: Neither of these methods works very well. Visiting people usually means a long walk (road travel is difficult and expensive), with no guarantee that the person will be there at the end of the journey. Communicating via the health authority or police radio is expensive and usually means just passing on a message (it's unlikely that the person you need to speak to is also at a health or police radio station).

Mass communication is equally difficult. There is a television receiver in the town, but only three TV sets. Most families have a battery radio and listen to the national RPP station (Radio Programas del Peru). However, this focuses on the Peruvian capital Lima, rarely covering rural issues such as farming or animal welfare. There are local newspapers in the nearby city of Cajamarca, but some of the people in Chanta can't read.

Recognising the communication problems in the area, in 1998 Practical Action set up a rural radio station programme.

Life in Chanta Alta

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Practical Action - Technology challenging povertyEuropean Commission - Department for International Development

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