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Afghan Radio Station Rebuilds Twice

Persists even after third attack from insurgents

Radio Yawali Ghag is an independent FM station serving Sayed Abad district in Afghanistan. According to the Online Engineer, this July the station completed its second rebuilding after attacks by insurgent forces, only to survive another bombing Sept. 1.

Internews, an NGO media infrastructure work is largely funded by USAID, did the original construction in 2004, on a hillside that made the station an easy target, which eventually forced the station to move to town beside one of the Provincial Reconstruction Team bases.

The military presence made them less vulnerable, but the location reduced the station’s coverage because antenna height was limited to a 30-meter tower. There, they also joined with Salam Watandar, a satellite radio network, to provide information in Dari and Pashto.

In Sept. 2011, the PRT base was attacked. Little equipment survived the blast aside from the tower, antennae and a transmitter stored off-site. Satellite receiver gear was installed so that the station could broadcast the Pashto program, but live programming was no longer possible due to security.

While rebuilding funds were arranged, it was necessary to clear the rubble. The station found a temporary place to house the studios but the satellite antenna got shifted and local staff could not re-aim it. They were again off-air, in part due to administrative procedures.

IBC compliance was mandatory for the project, and the studio gear was equipped with an Audioarts Air 3 console, StudioHub cabling, a Nautel VS300 transmitter with on-board Orban audio processing. Ron Hunter, a professional engineer, provided a design for a 20-meter self-supporting tower.