Using radio communication to empower communities to deal with early marriages,teenage pregnancies,and alcohol abuse: The case study of Chanyanya Community of Kafue vis-a-vis Yatsani Radio

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Mwelwa, Ringford Abel
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Communication at whatever level of development is crucial in bringing about awareness of issues among people and creating a platform for finding interactivity whose end purpose is to forge consolidated solutions to the commonly experienced problems. Some of the common problems that many communities face are alcoholism, teenage pregnancies and early marriages.The purpose of this study was to investigate how communication tools can be used in dealing with issues of alcoholism, teenage pregnancies, and early marriages. This research was a case study of Yatsani Community Radio in relation to Chanyanya fish camps in Kafue district of Zambia. The study focused on how Yatsani‟s programming is helping Chanyanya community to deal with the issues of alcoholism, early marriages and teenage pregnancies.In this study, a questionnaire was distributed to 100 respondents in Chanyanya fish camps of Kafue district. Three focus group discussions were conducted, and an in-depth interview was done. The Statistical Package of the Social Sciences (SPSS) software was used to analyze data.The objectives of the study were; (1) To conduct an audience survey on listenership to Yatsani radio in Chanyanya fish camp and surrounding communities (2) To assess the impact of programmes aired on Yatsani radio on issues of early marriages, teenage pregnancies and alcohol abuse (3) To evaluate the audience‟s listening frequency to issues pertaining to alcohol abuse, early marriages and teenage pregnancies aired on Yatsani radio (4) To propose ways that could help deliver programs to deal with issues of alcohol abuse, early marriages and teenage pregnancies.The findings of this study were that radio is one of the most accessed media, and that people appreciated the programs dealing with issues of alcohol abuse, early marriages and teenage pregnancies. However it was pointed out that Yatsani radio has to promote participation of the community in programming so as to enhance program ownership by the community, and this is something which could be a catalyst for positive change towards development. It was seriously recommended that community radio stations need financial assistance from the government in order for them to carry out their work effectively. The results of this study were intended to help Yatsani community radio, and other community radio stations in helping communities to use communication tools to deal with issues such as alcohol abuse, early marriages and teenage pregnancies.
Radio in health education , Communication in community health services