Serian 88.9FM is situated 3km from Maralal town along Maralal – Loosuk highway next to Maralal water supply opposite Maralal High School in Samburu County. Serian FM went on air on 1st July, 2009. It covers a radius of about 120km square and beyond in Samburu and Laikipia Counties. The station broadcasts 24 hours a day in a blend of Samburu language and Swahili to complement each other and to reach a wider audience with all – round programming. Listenership is estimated at about 200,000 people, but numbers are inconsistent because of migration patterns – pastoralists communities must keep moving in search of new pastures. Once the pastoralists move beyond 27km radius, they lose the frequency.
- Frequency: 88.9 FM
- Geographical reach: 120 km radius
- Language/s of broadcast: Samburu
- Broadcast duration: 12 hours
- Location: Maralal town, Samburu County
- Estimated audience: 200,000 listeners
- Contact Person: Nicholas Lenyakopiro, Station Manager
The station was started by Reto Women’s Association, Samburu chapter. Reto Women’s Association brings together women of the Maa speaking communities and has several chapters, in Narok, Kajiado, Loitoktok, Trans Mara, Samburu, Laikipia, Marsabit, Isiolo, Nakuru and Naivasha. Reto is registered as an association under the Society’s Act. The Samburu share a lot with the Maasai from the neighboring Kajiado and Narok counties, including cultural practices and the Maa language. The Samburu people have a very rich culture which they have strived hard to protect and promote over the years.
Land on which the station is constructed was donated by the community. A former area MP facilitated the establishment of the station through the Constituency Development Fund (CDF). CDF funding was also used to purchase the broadcasting equipment and building the premises. The Arid and Semi-arid Land and Natural Resource Management Ministry was also involved in supporting the station at its inception.
The station seeks to promote Samburu culture and address issues affecting the community such as:
Animal Health and trading, Female Genital Mutilation, HIV and AIDS, Education, especially for girls; Tracoma, which is rampant as a result of flies; and peace and conflict resolution caused by cattle rustling ,among other pressing issues in the local community.