New IMS/BBC collaboration around Somali radio series addresses drought
02 Oct. 2017

Somali woman listening to the radio. Photo: Radio Ergo

A unique new series, Ogaal, that will help Somalis cope during the current drought, begins on 3 October on BBC Somali. The series is a collaboration from BBC Somali, Radio Ergo run by International Media Support, and BBC Media Action

Listeners will hear stories from all parts of the country about the impact of the drought and reports of how humanitarian bodies, the authorities and the affected communities themselves are responding. Ogaal will air three times a week, at 5.40pm EAT on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays and each show will be 15 mins long. All of the programmes will also be available online at

The series is a collaboration from BBC Somali, Radio Ergo, and BBC Media Action and will contain a dedicated segment in each edition that will provide lifeline information. This will include advice on what plans people can put in place to deal with the drought and potential lack of food – and provide examples from what is working elsewhere in the country.

Abdullahi Abdi, BBC Somali Editor said: “BBC Somali’s ongoing commitment to telling the stories of its audience as well as bringing them impartial, accurate reporting is furthered by this great collaboration. This programme will enable us to show the way to survival to the most vulnerable people at this difficult time of drought.”

Angela Muriithi, Country Director Somalia for BBC Media Action, said:

“Information is a vital form of humanitarian aid. In light of this, BBC Media Action’s collaboration with BBC Somali Service and Radio Ergo to produce Ogaal is a crucial step in helping the 6.2 million Somalis affected by the on-going drought to get answers to basic questions they have on how to survive and cope with the crisis. Questions like how do I find food? How do I know my child is malnourished and needs medical attention? What can I do with the types of food that I do have? How do I prioritise use of the little water I have? As well as broader questions about the humanitarian situation in general and what the government and the international community is doing about it. The programme will also allow the real voices of people who are affected by the crisis and how they are coping to be heard – providing a sense of psychosocial support to many affected listeners.”

Radio Ergo is run by the NGO, International Media Support (IMS).  Louise Tunbridge, IMS Programme Manager, said:

“We are delighted to launch this collaboration in the interests of Somali audiences, who need all the information they can get to help them through these extremely tough times of drought and related hardships. The Ogaal programme brings together our respective strengths and allows the voices and information gathered by Radio Ergo reporters from all over Somalia to be shared among as wide an audience as possible.”

Notes to Editors

BBC Somali is part of the BBC World Service and is the most listened to international station in Somalia. It broadcasts to Somali-speaking audiences, providing radio, online and TV content in East Africa, in the Horn of Africa and for Somalis around the world. It reaches a weekly audience of 4 million people. BBC Somali recently began broadcasting its flagship TV new programme -details are here and they can also be found on TwitterFacebook and Instagram.

The programme segment providing practical information and advice to listeners on health, hygiene and nutrition is produced by BBC Media Action, the BBC’s international development charity, and funded by the UK’s Department for International Development. As with all BBC Media Action content, the BBC retains full editorial control.

BBC Media Action is the BBC’s international development charity. Their overarching goal is to help people make sense of events, engage in dialogue and take action to improve their lives.  They work in partnership with broadcasters, governments, non-governmental organisations and donors to share reliable, timely and useful information. Their projects reached over 200 million people last year and are made up of debate shows, dramas, radio and TV programmes, public service announcements, mobile phone services and face-to-face communication. It is an independent charity funded separately from the licence fee and is supported by funding from development agencies and foundations, and from corporates and individuals. For further information visit them at:

International Media Support (IMS) is a non-profit organization headquartered in Copenhagen, Denmark, working with media in countries affected by armed conflict, human security and political transition. Its specialist humanitarian radio project, Radio Ergo, is run out of the IMS regional office in Nairobi. Radio Ergo has an unrivalled network of local correspondents across Somalia reporting from within their communities.  Visit the Ergo website at

For any further information, please contact: 

Keywords: AfricaSomalia