People of Malawi’s northern border district Karonga will for the first time, start watching all local television channels following the installation of a digital transmitter in the district Tuesday.
Paramount Chief Kyungu of Karonga has since hailed the government for the development, saying it was overdue.
The Chief made the sentiments after the Minister of Information and Communication Technology, Nicholas Dausi, inspected the progress of installing the transmitter in the district ahead of the official commissioning of the facility which will be done shortly.
The Ngonde Chief said since independence people of Karonga have not been having the opportunity of accessing local channels, thereby missing some of the important information.
“We are very thankful to the current leadership for this development. It`s now the duty of my subjects here to make use of the facility for the intended purpose,”Kyungu said.
He asked different media houses in the country to come up with a lot of developmental and cultural programmes that will go a long way in promoting cultural values of different tribes across the country.
Minister of Information and Communication Technology Nicholas Dausi said government appreciates the role the media plays in disseminating information to the rural masses in the country.
He said the introduction of digital broadcasting in the district commonly known as “Kiliye-Kiliye” will give an opportunity to the residents of Karonga and surrounding areas to have choice of the channels to watch.
“This will not only help in information dissemination, but people will also be able to listen to government programmes and visions it would like to relay to rural masses.
People’s views will also be relayed to the government through these local channels,” he said.
Acting Director of Malawi Digital Broadcasting Networks (MDBN), Denis Chirwa, said though Karonga has been switched on to digital broadcasting, this does not mean that Malawi is fully covered by digital broadcasting.
“We are not yet there, but we have grown in terms of percentage coverage. We were at 55 per cent as we were commissioning the Kiliye-Kiliye decoders but with the switching on of this transmitter, we are now at 80 per cent,” he said.
Chirwa added that very soon MDBN will be switching on Thyolo, which will increase the coverage to 85 per cent.
According to the Acting Director, with the switching on of the transmitter in Karonga, MDBNL is working according to its plans and assured people it would soon cover the whole country.
Since Malawi started Television Broadcasting with the coming in of Television Malawi, people of Karonga have never had a chance to watch local channels due to lack of transmission equipment.
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