Popular FM station Radio Salus is racing against time to get back on air after losing its transmitters to power fluctuations, The New Times has learnt.
Owned by the National University of Rwanda, the station first lost its Kigali listenership last year in November and only continued operating in the Southern Province.
However, according to Aldo Havugimana, the Director, Salus went off air in the Southern Province as well, two weeks ago when its other transmitter succumbed to a short circuit.
“We have tried to purchase a new and better transmitter but the process is frustrating; a French company which we contracted to supply the transmitter failed to deliver because they wanted us to pay first,” Havugimana said.
“We must be certain about the quality of the transmitters because they are expensive, costing in the region of 30,000 Euros (Rwf24m); we are still under the procurement process to get a right supplier.”
Havugimana added that Radio Salus is incurring insurmountable losses due the failure of its transmitters and that the competition in the radio industry may make it tough for them to win back their audience.
“In 2009 and 2010, Radio Salus was among the most listened to stations; we are confident that when we get back on air, which is in the near future, we shall work hard to be where we were and better,” he added.
Prof Silas Lwakabamba, the Rector of NUR, said that the situation with Salus is unfortunate considering its importance to the university.
“Students from the School of Journalism practiced at the radio and we used it as a sensitization tool about programmes like HIV, community activities and the like,” Lwakabamba said.
Radio Salus was launched by NUR in 2005 on two frequencies; 97.0FM in Butare and 101.9FM in Kigali.Follow https://twitter.com/RushAfrican