Kangema FM (106.5) is based at Gakira Market in Kangema constituency, Murang’a County.
The station is a project of the Kenya Meteorological Department (KMD), as part of the RANET-Kenya project. Its premises are also home to the KMD’s weather measuring equipment. The radio went on air in February 2008
- Frequency: 106. 5 FM
- Geographical reach: 25 KM Radius
- Language/s of broadcast: Kikuyu, Kiswahili and a bit in English
- Broadcast duration: 6am to midnight.
- Location: Kangema town, Murang’a County
- Estimated audience: 150,000 listeners
- Contact Person: Francis Wainaina, Officer in Charge
Kangema FM was not always a KMD station. The radio was initiated in 2008 by the local MP who was also Minister for Environment and Natural Resources. The purpose of the radio was to address environmental issues, in particular to help communities avoid land mudslides which have killed many people in the area after heavy rains. Funding came from the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) and was used to purchase equipment and to pay staff “token” salaries. The KMD took the station over in 2009, upgrading equipment, restructuring governance bodies and recruiting additional staff. The KMD hopes to save lives and improve agricultural yields by providing accurate and reliable weather services through Kangema FM, including discussion of seasonal changes and environmental issues.
The station’s signal covers 25km radius, reaching thousands of farmers in the hills and valleys of Murang’a County, and spilling over into parts of Nyeri and Kirinyaga Counties. Local farming is mostly agriculture, including maize, beans, sweet potatoes, vegetables, fruit and tea and coffee. There is also some livestock and dairy farming. The station’s main aim is to encourage development by facilitating dialogue about community needs so that people can identify problems and solutions.
Kangema FM broadcasts in Kikuyu and Kiswahili, with some English. All programmes aim to be entertaining and educational. The station does not “go into the details of politics.” Most discussion programmes are call-in programmes, with the presenters leading on local topics. Experts come in willingly, and do not expect to be paid. The programme schedule is broadly a mixture of discussion, news and weather and music.
The vision of the radio is to become a leading community radio that provides optimum contribution to improved quality of life in the community. Its mission is to facilitate accessible meteorological information and infusion of scientific, agricultural, education and social knowledge to spur growth and development in society.