(KPL) The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) signed on Oct 3 the Contribution Agreement with a new private sector partner, Nam Theun 2 Power Company Limited (NTPC) to support the establishment of a new community radio in Nakai district, Khammuan Province.
Under this agreement, the NTPC agreed to provide USD 120,000 over three years together with co-funding of USD 80,000 from UNDP.
Representatives from the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism (MICT), Community Radio Project team, Khammuan Provincial Planning and Investment Office, Nam Theun 2 Development Fund Steering Committee members, Nakai district authorities, NTPC officers as well as UNDP staff were present as witnesses.
The Community Radio is two-way communication. It does not only provide needed information for community development for local people in local languages, but also is a tool for sharing their thoughts, issues, knowledge, and culture.
By being better informed they are able to make better informed decisions. The Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism is the Implementing Partner of the Enhancing People’s Participation through Community Radio Project (Community Radio Project).
The UNDP, together with MICT, has been providing support to 8 community radio stations in 8 different districts in 5 provinces over the last 10 years.
The Nakai Community Radio will be the ninth community radio station in the Lao PDR.
At the signing ceremony, the Chief Executive Officer of NTPC, Mr. Olivier Didry emphasised the importance of the community radio for the community.
He stated that “The Community Radio project will help the communities empower themselves, in line with the Sam Sang Policy. With their own words, people will be able to actively contribute to their development including health, education, gender equality and biodiversity conservation. Particularly, the community radio will be an excellent tool to support communities in addressing local challenges and promoting easier access to information for all.”
Mr. Bounhap Souligno, Deputy Director of Mass Media Department at MICT and Project Manager of the Community Radio Project said “I believe this new partnership will help us better support the communities in Nakai district, Khammuan Province through a new community radio that will establish local ownership and deliver important information to people including youth, women, ethnic groups, and those living in remote and rural areas.”
The UNDP Resident Representative, Ms. Ricarda Rieger expressed the importance of expanding partnership as it is one of the Sustainable Development Goals that the Government of the Lao PDR endorsed with other UN members. She said that “NTPC is the first private sector partner in the Lao PDR who agreed to provide generous financial support to the Community Radio Project in the establishment of a new Community Radio station”.
Ms. Rieger also highlighted that “It is a testament to our long and successful relationship with MICT over many years – and hopefully into the future.”