Install FM radio stations in Terekeka state to reduce cattle rustling
By Thomas Loku Jelle
It is necessary to note that, installation of radio stations [FM] will help in reducing cattle disputes among the cattle herding communities in South Sudan especially in the context of Terekeka State.
Since Terekeka state become a county in 1999 under the defunct Central Equatoria State, it has never witnessed presence of any media house for instance newspapers and Magazines leave alone the Radio Stations and Televisions which inform large audience.
The civil population of Terekeka State since time immemorial was entirely depending on the traditional methods of communication starting with gestures and vocal signals which constituted dancing on the grounds, drawing marks on the stones, beating of drums, singing of music to convey messages and information to the rest of the people.
Sometimes they set fire smoking to indicate the dry season or hunting season, cutting marks on the trees to indicate a person was buried in the place or the plot (land) belongs to a particular person who had lived there before, rounding thorny fence and a tree branches to show to the people the place is undergoing agricultural activities, fixing two pairs of local slippers (Mutu keli) to show that, a person journeying is either taking some rest or has left to look water, and fixing white flag and a bottle up to inform buyers of availability of alcohol like white staffs and other wines, filling sand into a bottle and tying it up in the garden or mango trees and others to warn intruders that harm will follow their way should they grab or touch something without any permission from the owner or concerned person, and many other means of communication the people of Terekeka state have been using up to the present moment.
These traditional means of communication have served its best to inform, educate, entertain, mobilize, advocate but to mention a few to the lesser extend but in greater extend caused havoc to the civil population of the Terekeka State and the neighboring communities.
But in the other hand, traditional means of communication have not fulfilled its obligation and duties to unite, and promote peaceful co-existence among the communities due to the unprofessional and unethical passing of information including incitement and promotion of hate speeches.
The evolution and rise of digital media in this 21st Century has overturned the traditional communication to the level of being ineffective and outdated. Hence the information to be obtained is not reliable, accurate, unbalance and lack elements of being called “News” in this modern era.
Thus, plenty of global, regional, and national news stories go unattended in the rural areas of the state, although other media outlets do inform them through listening and watching to the radio sets and Television respectively.
The role of the media in this modern generation cannot be downplayed in shaping opinions, educating the communities about the dangers like outbreak of diseases, mobilizing people to vote for their leader, setting public platforms for deliberations and discussions of important issues as well as informing the masses about the daily happenings. Thought, it has got disadvantages, still stand as powerful weapon of transforming the society to make an informed decision pertaining to their life.
Terekeka state is one of the vast area in South Sudan that constitute bigger population, with its tremendous unexploited resources that will develop the state and the country at large if media is given consideration to play its roles to connect the globe to become one big country.
Besides, creating conducive environment for pacific living it will also help reducing cattle raiding issues, unnecessary killing and revenge attacks among the herding communities through initiating awareness and sensitization programs.
It will engage the local people to discuss important issues relating to the ways of how to address the challenges being posed as a result of cattle raiding and conflict among the communities.
Let the local people, state, national or international organizations and other faith based organizations quickly intervene to help install radio station FM in Terekeka State in order to curtail the debilitating issues of cattle raiding and conflicts among the communities and other states.
It is also necessary to install radio stations and other media outlets like newspapers and magazines in later times in four strategic corners in Terekeka State e.g. Northern Terekeka County (Muni), Tali County, Gemeiza County, and Terekeka County when peace and stability prevail in the country.
These three locations are consistent and strategic because they are the centers of many activities like trading, administration, education etc and contain big number of people from the whole Terekeka State and its neighboring surroundings.
Media outlet like this radio station FM, will be advocating for the peaceful coexistence among the people and also to sensitize and engage the communities to make proper utilization of their natural resources like animals, timbers, fish, land, sand mining etc as well as reduce the bribe price (dowries) for the people who cannot afford to pay.
Because many people opted to steal someone properties if he/she is facing extraordinary or beyond human circumstances, so by reducing the dowries, it will help reduce cattle raiding disputes and killing happening always among the herding communities in South Sudan.
Therefore, all the stallholders in the governments, civil society organizations, national and international organizations and the civic population to second this calling in an effort to bring peace and unity among the pastoral communities in South Sudan especially in Terekeka State where the present of any media house is highly needed and welcomed.
The writer is a student of Media development Institute (MDI) reachable via email:email@example.com or 0925731470