Ibrahim Kitenda, the Ngandu local council-LCI chairperson in Nama sub county Mukono district says covid-19 preventive measures came abruptly leaving them without any option other than buying megaphones to sensitize residents about their roles in the fight against the virus.
Communities in Mukono have revived
the use of outdoor megaphone radios, following the ban on public gatherings.
The radios had been banned by the Uganda Communications Commission, for
allegedly flouting broadcasting regulations and causing noise pollution.
But the megaphones have
resurfaced, this time coming as a solution to the ban on public gatherings
announced by president Yoweri Museveni, as one of the measures to encourage social
distancing and control the spread of Coronavirus.
In Mukono district alone, about
15 outdoor community radios have been opened up in various trading centres. They
are used by religious leaders to convey mass and other gospel related programs
and health information. Majority of the local council chairpersons also use
mobile megaphones to sensitize residents about the need of implementing the
Ministry of Health-MoH guidelines to stop the spread of corona virus.
Ibrahim Kitenda, the Ngandu local
council chairperson in Nama Sub County Mukono district says COVID-19 preventive
measures came abruptly leaving them without any option other than using megaphones
to sensitize residents about their roles in the fight against the virus.
“Many people tune in to radio’s
but sometimes they implement orders after we have re-emphasized. Currently the
only way to reach out to them is by using outdoor community radios,” Kitenda
Although section 26(1) of UCC Act
2013 prohibits installation or any operation of a television station, radio
station, or any related broadcasting apparatus without a license, the Mukono
Chief Administrative Officer-CAO James Nkata notes the situation shall come
back to normal after the virus is stopped.
Michael Mugooli, a resident at
Nabuti in Mukono Central Division agrees that megaphones are important but at
the same time disagree with operators who use them during resting hours.
//Cue in; “Once the born…
Cue out…the radio station.”//
Luganda //Cue in; “Muyige
Cue out…nakulekanyiza bantu.”//
Meanwhile, the use of social
networks platforms has also picked during this period. Starting from churches,
local government units and districts covid-19 task forces, they are all using
channels such as WhatsApp and Facebook to pass on massages.