Using radio to address indoor air pollution in Ethiopia
Air pollution is now the world´s largest single environmental health risk, and is fast becoming one of the leading causes of illness and death in developing countries.
I trust Golaafala so much that I bought a cookstove after listening to the drama.
In Ethiopia alone, indoor air pollution – caused by inefficient cooking stoves, smoke from open fires and kerosene lamps – triggers tens of thousands of premature deaths per year.
BBC Media Action is producing a radio drama and public service announcements – as part of a project called Air We Breathe – to help address the harmful health effects of indoor cooking and lighting on people living in rural communities in Oromia, Ethiopia.
The drama, called Golaafala (meaning ‘solution from within’ in Oromiffa) revolves around the lives of a young woman, 18-year-old Warite, and two young men who admire her – minibus driver Nahom and the well-to-do Wako, who owns a mill. When a character is taken to hospital with a serious lung problem – the audience finds out what the drama is all about. Through its depiction of everyday life the drama showcases practical solutions to indoor pollution – such as using stoves that emit less smoke, improving ventilation in the home and lamps powered by cleaner fuels for example, solar lamps.
“We decided that storytelling and radio theatre are the best ways to address such a serious topic,” explains Dawit Batri, Golaafala’s senior producer. “Spoken word, poetry and music are very popular in Oromia and appeal to the artistic nature of the Oromo people.”
The format, broadcast on Oromia Radio, is proving popular. "I love to listen to Golaafala every Wednesday because it’s a real reflection of the villages we live in and it's like hearing your own voice,” says Bezina Getachew, a listener from the eastern town of Harar. The drama is helping inspire action. "Listening to Golaafala is like listening to my own voice. It's the exact reflection of the society I live in" said Emebet Kedir from Agaro, Jimma Zone. "I trust Golaafala so much that I bought a cookstove after listening to the drama."
|Project name||Air We Breathe|
|Funder||Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs|
|Outputs||Radio drama, public service announcements, capacity building|
|Broadcast partners||Oromia Radio and Television Organisation, Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation|
Our projects in Ethiopia
- How communication can address unsafe migration through and from EthiopiaThis new programme will focus on providing information and forums for discussion so that people can make informed decisions about what lies ahead of them.
- BabyWASH: Reducing childhood diarrhoea through radioWe encouraged healthier hygiene practices by mothers and fathers in Ethiopia to help protect children from often-deadly conditions such as diarrhoea through radio, community discussion and training with health workers.
- Using radio to address indoor air pollution in EthiopiaAir We Breathe is a health-focused project in the Oromia region of Ethiopia addressing indoor air pollution through radio and public service announcements.
- Building resilience to extreme weather through radioRadio programmes and mobile phone services are improving farmers’ access to accurate weather information in Ethiopia.
- Improving maternal and neonatal health in rural EthiopiaRadio programmes Biiftuu Jireenyaa and Jember deliver life-saving information to women and their families.
- Breaking the silence around sexual health in EthiopiaFrom 2006 to 2010, a pioneering radio programme for young people helped to encourage discussion about sexual health issues in Ethiopia by bringing taboo subjects to the fore.