In most Pacific countries the radio is still the primary source of climate and emergency information, often having the greatest reach across island nations. National broadcasters play a fundamental role in raising public awareness about disaster risk management and climate change resilience and ensuring communication between response agencies and rural communities is maintained during times of disaster. But the infrastructure needed to support these critical services is increasingly vulnerable to coastal inundation and extreme weather events.
Under the Radio 2AP Redevelopment Project, Australia has funded a new transmission tower for the Samoan Government National Broadcaster 2AP. Work on the $4.57 million project took just under a year, and the new tower will help strengthen the role of media in disaster resilience in Samoa, especially when it comes to communicating climate information into non-technical advice for the public.
The project was implemented by ABC International Development and information and communication technology specialist firm Kordia. The new tower is built to withstand a Category 5 cyclone and will enhance radio 2AP’s emergency broadcasting role, with both AM and FM radio frequencies now available, increasing reach and accessibility for citizens.
In upgrading the coastline site for the new tower, project managers raised the ground level to mitigate the impact of storm surges and coastal flooding, and special high-quality paints were used on the metal to help protect against the effects of salt due to proximity to the sea. Plus, the chosen site takes into account the surrounding ecosystem, especially marine species and mangroves.
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