UNDP-Sierra Leone donates equipment to MARWOPNET Radio
By Bridgett Milton
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), in Sierra Leone in collaboration with the Mano River Union (MRU), has turned over several broadcast equipment to the Mano River Peace Network (MARWOPNET) radio station in Grand Cape Mount County, western Liberia.
Making the donation over the weekend in the county, the Secretary General of the Mano River Union (MRU) Mrs. Medina Wesseh noted that the radio station has played a pivotal role in promoting peace and harmony between Liberia and Sierra Leone, including helping over the years to make sure people live peacefully.
“I’m very impressed with the way the people of this county took the lead by constructing the station by themselves; it shows that the station is very close to your heart because you people are doing it for yourself”, Madam Wesseh expressed.
She at the same challenged citizens to make sure the station remains active and engaged constructively.
She said now that UNDP-Sierra Leone has donated the equipment, UNDP-Liberia should come in to support the station, while calling on the station manager to draw up a plan for training and staffing the station for a year to reduce burden on the community.
At the same time, Mrs. Wesseh suggested to the management to provide professional and ethical training for more women and children.
Also speaking at the event, the National Focus Point of MARWOPNET, Madam Ophelia Hoff Saytumah expressed excitement for the level of work done by the citizens.
Station Manager Musa Paasewe expressed thanks and appreciation to UNDP for the equipment and promised it would be used for the intended purpose.
Mr. Paasewe recalled that between 2010 and 11, the Mano River Women Peace Network Radio (MARWOPNET Radio) was built by the Mano River Women Peace Network Liberia’s Chapter with support from Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA) to promote peace, security in the MRU Sub-Region and began broadcasting in June 2011.
“Since its inception as a regionally based media outlet, it has been broadcasting peace messages to promote the women’s voices of peace in Liberia, Sierra Leone and other regions and helping in providing security in the sub-region during and after elections and easing communication barriers in the two MRU countries”, Paasewe noted.
He continued that having been fully operationalized in 2011, Radio MARWOPNET 96.7 FM through its broadcast programs has significantly contributed to peaceful coexistence amongst citizens in Liberia and Sierra Leone, and parts of the region until fire gutted it on May 19, 2019, as a result of lightning, but was reconstructed by citizens of Tewor district in Grand Cape Mount.
He explained that due to this unfortunate situation, the region has witnessed and experienced several electoral violence in Grand Cape Mount and other parts of western Liberia, specifically the violence that occurred in Jennneh, Tewor District, during the 2021 voters’ roll update, which left several persons injured.
“Radio MARWOPNET has been a catalyst for peace messages, women’s rights advancement, enhancing the culture of participatory democracy and human security that ensures a Sub-Region that is peaceful, secured”, he said.
The chairlady of the community, Lucia M. Sonni said, they sold potato greens, cassava leaves and bitter balls to rebuild the station because it is very important to the community.