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Help Radio Ada Overcome Attack

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Organized by Sheena Cameron (Radio Ada Supporter) and Julius Odoi (Radio Ada Programmes Manager)
This is an urgent appeal for financial support following the recent attack on Radio Ada, a community radio station in Ghana. The attack was an effort to silence the station from broadcasting about threats to the traditional lands and livelihood of the Ada people. This attack left a staff member injured in hospital and the radio station’s on-air equipment destroyed. Without financial aid, they will be unable to continue the important role they play in their community to the Ada people in their local language; broadcasting information, news and the concerns of communities, particularly regarding the developments in the Songor Salt Lagoon.
Radio Ada is a non-profit community radio station located in Ada, Ghana, that seeks to promote the language, culture and traditions of the Dangme people and to provide a platform for the voices of those in the community who are being silenced or who are not usually represented or heard in mainstream media. Since its establishment in 1998, it has provided broadcasting in the local language of the Ada people, Dangme, therefore, making it more accessible for Ada people to be informed and to participate in radio programming. In addition to the pivotal role it plays locally, Radio Ada has an international reputation, and has played host to countless visitors and interns from around the world, people who have come to learn from this pioneer and leader in community led broadcasting.
On the morning of January 13th, the community radio station was attacked by a group of eight to ten men, one of whom was armed with a pistol. They violently beat up the on-air presenter, threatened staff and visitors present, and destroyed on-air equipment, in an attempt to prevent Radio Ada from operating. The attackers openly declared that they were targeting the station and individuals responsible for producing the Manor Munyu program that discusses the monopoly privatization of the Songor Salt Lagoon by Ghana’s government, with the support of some local Traditional Authorities. This monopoly concession has been given out to the company ElectroChem Ghana Ltd., who have already commenced operations without the consent of the majority of the local communities. This program airs the community members’ concerns about maintaining communal access to the Songor Salt Lagoon, their traditional artisanal livelihood (for tens of thousands of people), and their inherent cultural rights to the land and resource, in the face of threats of relocation and restrictions to mine salt. It also translates public documents concerning this concession, and agreements with Traditional Authority made by the company, so that community members can be informed as to what the company’s plans are for the lagoon.
This is an attack on the freedom of the media to report unobstructed, an attempt to silence and intimidate community from voicing concerns against government decisions to prioritize big business, and an attack on human and Indigenous rights, including the right to free prior informed consent. Radio Ada staff and the community of Ada are shaken, as the radio station is such an important part of the small community, but they are steadfast in overcoming this brutal attack.
The Radio Ada staff member who was injured was treated in the local hospital. After the attack, other members of Radio Ada worked to get back on air temporarily to read the below statement throughout the day. However, they are a small community radio station, reliant on volunteers and with limited funding, and their on-air equipment was damaged. It must be replaced in order to get back to continual broadcasting. The equipment that must be replaced includes: 1 mixer board machine - 12 channels, 3 studio microphones, 4 studio headphones, 2 desktop computers and accessories. Additionally, this will include the cost of purchasing and installing a CCTV to increase security and capture any future efforts to intimidate the radio station. According to Radio Ada management, the estimated costs of replacing the equipment, as well as covering hospital bills of the staff member who was injured is 10,000 CAD. In an effort of solidarity, we are asking anyone who is able to please support financially in order to aid Radio Ada and the staff to overcome this heinous act.
Below is the official statement about the attack released by Radio Ada:
1. The Management of Radio Ada 93.3 fm wishes to inform its esteemed listening community that the station was violently attacked by a group of eight men today, Thursday, 13th January 2022 at about 11:30 a.m.
2. The attackers, one of whom was armed with a pistol, invaded the on-air studio by forcibly destroying its door open. They beat up the presenter and vandalised the on-air studio equipment, leading to the temporary shut-down of Radio Ada.
3. Two Radio Ada staff together with visitors to the station were held hostage during the attack.
4. The attackers openly declared that they had come to vandalise the station because of its Manor Munyu and other programmes discussing the recent developments in the Songor. They threatened to inflict further havoc should the station continue with programmes on the Songor.
5. The matter has been reported to the Big Ada police who came to take inventory of the damaged equipment.
6. The presenter who was beaten up has since been sent to the Ada East District Hospital for treatment.
7. The attack has been reported to the National Media Commission (NMC).
8. This announcement is being made to ensure that the facts of the attack are reported accurately and timeously. This announcement, interspersed with music, will be the only broadcast that Radio Ada will be making today.
9. The station will shut down for a few days from tomorrow to enable it to review and repair the extent of the damage caused.
10. Our listening community may be assured that Radio Ada will thereafter continue to broadcast and that its commitment to inform and to give voice to the Dangme community, particularly those least voiced, remains unchanged.
For more information, here are some media reports about the attack:

UPDATE: Today, January 23rd, Radio Ada was able to get back on the air using damaged equipment.

Since the attack, 10 days ago, Radio Ada had suspended broadcasts "in order to examine the extent of the damage, make immediate repair works and attend to developments including the ongoing police investigations" (Radio Ada Official Statement) which include the Ghana Police offering a GHS10,000 reward for anyone with information leading the arrests of those involved. "Sufficient progress has been made to enable a partial resumption of operations." (Radio Ada Official Statement) They will attempt to resume full operations by February 1st. They have express a deep gratitude for all of the support that has been received thus far, locally and internationally. 


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Sheena Cameron
New Glasgow, NS

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