Over 30,000 households in Gakenke District and thousands others in Burera and Rulindo districts are set to receive radio signal following the installation of a new transmission mast.
Located on the summit of Kabuye hill (8546ft above sea level) in Gakenke, the mast will also boost radio signal in areas neighhbouring the three Northern Province districts, said Arthur Asiimwe, the RBA director-general, who added that the facility will be completed soon.
“We have been covering only parts of Gakenke and Burera because of the deep valleys that characterise the terrain in these districts,” Asiimwe told Saturday Times on Friday.
He said that Gakenke residents have been accessing radio signal through Mugogo and Karisimbi masts but it was poor.
Asiimwe noted that once the mast is operational for radio, TV transmission would be added to improve viewership in the area.
The facility is worth Rwf180 million, Asiimwe said.
Some residents who spoke to Saturday Times welcomed the development, saying listening to radios was previously difficult.
“Radio is the cheapest and most accessible medium and the main source of information for rural people but it is a problem that we still have people who do not listen to the radio,” said Anatole Mutemberezi, a resident of Rulindo District
“I hope the mast will solve this problem for good and we will be able to tune in and listen to various radio stations,” he added.
Radio remains the most popular medium of communication in Rwanda and, according to Asiimwe, Radio Rwanda covers 98 per cent of the country while TV coverage is 100 per cent thanks to use of satellites.
Burera District is home to 349,218 people, Gakenke about 350,000, while Rulindo has a population of 288,452.
Deogratias Nzamwita, the Mayor of Gakenke District, said there are thousands of area residents who could not listen to radio due to poor signals but with the new mast they will all be catered for.
“Listening to the radio was previously not possible in some parts of the district, especially in the valleys or some hilly areas, which are not close to the existing other masts, now we are grateful that people from that area can clearly listen to the radio,” he said.
“Radio is a source of information, news and entertainment. Residents engaged in business will also have the opportunity to learn from their compatriots elsewhere in the country, all this was not possible previously and it affected our people in one way or another,” he added.