Koch FM

Koch FM was the first community radio in Kenya to be established in Nairobi slums. It is based in Korogocho slums in Nairobi. Other community radios have been established since then in low class settlements in Nairobi such as Pamoja FM in Kibera, Ghetto FM in Pumwani and Mtaani Radio in Riruta Satellite. Since these radios target a specific audience from the low class settlements, they share a common frequency, 99.9 FM with other institutional based community radios in Nairobi.

  • Frequency: 99.9 FM
  • Geographical reach: 3Kilometres
  • Language/s of broadcast:  Kiswahili and Sheng
  • Broadcast duration: 24 hours
  • Location: Korogocho Slums
  • Estimated audience:  250,000 listeners
  • Contact Person: Tom Mboya: Team Leader/ Station Manager

Koch FM was founded by young human rights activists from Korogocho slums in Nairobi. It was registered as a Community Based Organization (CBO) in 2006. The CBO was granted a broadcasting license from the then Ministry of Information and Broadcasting to operate a non-profit community radio station and a frequency from the Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK), currently the Communications Authority of Kenya (CAK), to broadcast from the 99.9 frequency. Koch FM operates a community radio based in Korogocho Slums in Nairobi. Korogocho is the fourth largest informal settlement in Kenya’s capital Nairobi; after Kibera, Mathare and Mukuru kwa Njenga. The slum is estimated to cover 1.5 square kilometres, with a population of between 150,000 to 200,000 comprised of various ethnic communities. The coverage area of Koch FM includes the adjacent low class neighbourhoods of Korogocho slums.

Koch FM was primarily established to tell the stories of the community and of the people living in the slums. For many years, people living in Korogocho slums had been discriminated against because of the negative coverage of the slums and their inhabitants by the mainstream media. The mainstream media usually depicted residents from Korogocho as criminals and the community as a hotbed of violence, drug abuse, rape, and other social ills. The express mission of Koch FM was to provide a platform for Korogocho community to address their issues through information sharing, education and communication. Its aim was to promote social, political and economic well-being of the Korogocho community and the neighboring low class settlements. This is currently done through the radio programs and the community conversation forums.

Koch FM drew its inspiration from similar projects elsewhere, especially Radio Favela in a slum in Belo Horizonte, Brazil’s third largest city. Like Radio Favela, Koch FM envisages to be the point of reference on mobilizing community action through media