Fire incident forces Abyei FM off air

Abyei 102.3 FM studio after it was burnt by an inferno on 24-12-2020 | Photo credit: Martin Kuol | AIRS 2020

Abyei FM has been forced off air after fire gutted its production and on-air studios on Thursday last week. The fire which occurred at 9:30 pm started from the condenser coil cable, caused air conditioning system to burst, burning all equipment to ashes. Some of the equipment destroyed were two consoles from both studios, six microphones, two computers and a phone hybrid plus the furniture.

The broadcast equipment were donated by International Organization for Migration (IOM). The December 24th incident happened two weeks after the station was officially launched. The blaze which gutted broadcast equipment will now deprive an estimated 150, 000 audience from accessing information about their lives.

However, the Executive Editor of Abyei FM says audience will still access information on social media platforms such as website, Twitter, Facebook, and WhatsApp. Mr. Karbino Dut Aguek says news will be pre-recorded in three languages and uploaded online as plans to re-install the equipment are underway. He said that the management of Abyei FM would go further to seeking cooperation with other stations to air its programs.

As efforts to bring back station on air are underway, Catholic Church has already started a fund-raising initiative in the name of bringing back the radio on air. Abyei administrative area has also pledged its support which is yet to be known to rebuild Abyei FM.

Abyei FM, run by Abyei Information and Radio Service  (AIRS), and was started in 2013 as a weekly radio program to provide awareness about Abyei’s referendum. Since then, two popular programs of “Abyei Today” and “Abyei This Weekend” were produced and aired on Mayardit FM in Turalei and Akol Yam FM in Aweil.