Ogiek community radio station launched
Members of the Ogiek Community in Nakuru County have launched a community radio station.
The station will broadcast from Mariashoni in Njoro sub-county. The radio station known Sogoot FM joins the growing list of Kalenjin vernacular stations.
Mr Martin Kiptony Lelei, one of the Sogoot FM directors, said the station seeks to communicate with members of the Ogeik community who are not covered by the three vernacular radio stations in the region.
Mr Lelei said that the members of the Ogiek community in Nakuru, Narok, Baringo, Bomet and Kericho counties will now have an opportunity to get the latest news in a language they best understand.
“This community radio station will spur development in the Ogiek dominated areas,” said Mr Lelei.
Mr Lelei said that unlike the other Kalenjin radio stations which broadcast exclusively in Kalenjin, the Ogiek community radio station will have a segment of English and Kiswahili for other listeners.
“We want even those people who are not members of the Ogeik community to enjoy programs and news from the station,” said Mr Lelei.
Mr Lelei was speaking at Njoro on Saturday as they popularised the new station.
He said the station, which is conducting test runs, will start broadcasting its first programs before the end of the year.
The campaign was also attended by nominated MCA Benazir Busienei who represents the community at the Nakuru County Assembly.
The Ogiek community officials said that the other Kalenjin radio stations have not addressed matters affecting the community.
“First the language used in these radio stations is not our language and we miss out on many development opportunities,” said Mr Lelei.
The radio station has created job opportunities to more than 20 members of the Ogiek community.
“This station is a blend of the old and new generation who will combine efforts to restore the lost glory of the community,” said Joseph Towet, the chairman of the Ogiek Council of Elders.
Mr David Ndaraiya Warren, who is in charge of human resource, said the station will dedicate more air time on environmental conservation issues.
“The Ogieks are known to conserve the forests and these are some of the issues that will be given prominence in the radio station,” said Mr Ndaraiya.