Building resilience to a changing climate in Tanzania

From 2012 to 2014, BBC Media Action worked on a radio project in Tanzania that aimed to increase people's resilience and improve local government accountability.

I have learned what to cultivate when there is scant rainfall.
— A listener from Dodoma town

Full-time mentors were embedded at three partner radio stations in the Morogoro and Dodoma regions – Abood FM, Dodoma FM and Ulanga FM.

The mentors provided training in editorial standards, programme making and management. With this support, the stations made their own local version of a programme called Nyakati Zinabadilika (which means "the times/winds are changing" in Kiswahili).

The shows explored topics such as 'climate-smart' farming and livestock practices – for example, drought-resistant crops and terracing – and ways people can diversify their incomes through leather and honey production and chicken keeping.

Weekly live discussion programmes, meanwhile, connected listeners with leaders and experts in their communities, providing a platform for increased accountability.

As part of the project, Haba na Haba (Little By Little), BBC Media Action’s national radio show broadcast five special programmes focusing on resilience-related issues such as deforestation.

Halfway through the project, more than 170 episodes of Nyakati Zinabadilika and 43 live discussion programmes had been produced. Our research findings showed that listeners were taking action as a result of listening to these shows.

One woman from Dodoma town said the programmes had given her valuable advice: "I have been able to learn what to cultivate when there is scant rainfall," she said. "And what to cultivate when the rains are heavy."

The show has also inspired people to demand more support from their government.

A listener from Ulanga town, told our researchers: "I formed a group as a result of the knowledge acquired from the programme. We decided to go our agricultural officer and asked him to advise us how we can succeed in agriculture although we have no capital."

"He helped us organise the group and we have already registered our group and opened a bank account. We are now planning on growing mangoes, coconuts and oranges." 

Project information

Project name Radio for resilience
Funder Accountability in Tanzania
Dates 2012-2015
Themes Resilience; Governance
Outputs Nyakati Zinabadilika (Times/Winds are Changing)
Broadcast partners Abood FM, Dodoma FM and Ulanga FM.