21 Jan 2015

Radio Vanuatu transmission worries for cyclone season

5:07 pm on 21 January 2015

There are worries that some communities in Vanuatu could miss out on cyclone warnings due to transmission problems with the national broadcaster, Radio Vanuatu.

Radio Vanuatu comes under the Vanuatu Broadcasting and Television Corporation.

Our correspondent, Hilaire Bule, says there is confirmation that Pentecost Island is not receiving transmissions from Radio Vanuatu.

He says people in Ambae and further north in the Banks and Torres island groups also have trouble getting the station.

"Even this morning we have in the Daily Post people from Efate, they are complaining about the reception of their national radio, and it's about three kilometres from the main radio station in Port Vila. It's dangerous because now Vanuatu is entering the cyclone season and people cannot receive the warning of the possible cyclone in the villages or in the communities."

Hilaire Bule says the VBTC is facing financial uncertainty, with the government to retire or make redundant a third of the staff, and is yet to approve a funding grant for the broadcaster.

However, the Public Relations Officer for the Prime Minister's Office, Kierry Manassah, says the government has approved the usual funding grant for VBTC.

Santo, Vanuatu

Santo, Vanuatu Photo: RNZ / Johnny Blades