Last November Kahuzi-Biega National Park in collaboration with the Pole Pole Foundation tried a new way of broadcasting information about the life of the eastern lowland gorillas and its conservation. Two radio stations were selected. ‘RTNC’ for the interviews in French and ‘Neno la Uzima’ for the interviews in Swahili. Speakers were John Kahekwa (POPOF), Phillippe Gombaniro (Chief of the tourism program of KBNP) and both of them were interviewed by Prince Hubert Mulongoy, one of the environmental communicator of KBNP.
John spent twenty years in the field with the gorillas and observed their daily life. His knowledge and actual experience with the gorillas made the program very attractive to the listeners. John prepared 7 different chapters of text and they were broadcast in both radios. One example of the chapters: Chapter 2 ” The construction of nests by the Eastern Lowland gorillas”. He talked about the five formulas to identify gorillas and their nests, which he conceived himself.
They also talked about the prohibition of illegal entrance into the park and those who destroy the park. Another chapter was about how the gorillas and other wildlife disseminate seeds in their stomachs for a new growth of vegetation.
A lot of listeners were moved by the program and they wrote to the stations many questions by SMS. College and university students in particular were happy with the programs. Someone even wrote “Where were you park authorities hiding this sort of good stories?”.
The response to the program was brilliant and everyone who participated in the program realized again the importance of spreading the information more among the local community.