Radio Communities to Inform and spread awareness on Merapi’s Activity

Since 2019, Merapi Mountain, an active volcano mountain in Yogyakarta, has been spewing hot rocks and burning ashes into the air that sometimes blacken the villages nearby. To inform people of these dangerous activities, Mujianto, a farmer by day and an amateur radio DJ by night, speaks in MMC FM. MMC FM, Merapi Merbabu Community, is one of 8 community radios run by people who live near Merapi. 

Mujianto and other DJs have always announced the information to Samiran village people since 2002. The radio communities become crucial because they are the only source of information that the villagers can access while the eruption happens. 

Mujianto told that it was hard to get accurate information regarding the activity of Merapi before these radios existed. The information from people outside Merapi was not accurate enough and could make people panic. 

Not only MMC FM, Gema Merapi also became one of the radio communities. Remon, one of the radio DJs, stated that radio communities could help to teach people living nearby Merapi on mitigation so that they could be more prepared while Merapi erupted. 

Remon explained that some people were still not willing to evacuate while the eruption was happening. They usually thought that there was no way they got affected and saw other villages who did not evacuate, though different areas had different risks on this. 

Government officials, academics, and activists are aiming to develop a comparable network of radios in other disaster-prone locations after community radios in Merapi proved to be so important in emergency response and disaster preparedness.


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