Evelyne Otima reads a weather forecast at the Nganyi Ranet community radio station in Vihiga. Credit: Mongabay.

Employees of radio stations owned by the Kenya Meteorological Department (KMD) have written to Environment and Forestry Cabinet Secretary Keriako Tobiko seeking a speedy redress of their woes, which include going without pay for the last five months.

Other issues raised by the approximately 80 workers of RANET radio stations are working on casual contract basis for 8-10 years, non-implementation of government wage increments and 30-days forced “lay offs” without pay.

Through their representatives, the workers warn that operations at these six radio stations face imminent shut down due to the frustrations they are experiencing. They say they have not been paid their wages since October last year.

“No official communication from the Department, or Ministry is forthcoming, despite our numerous efforts to seek dialogue with the employer (KMD),” the letter adds.

RANET (Radio Internet) acts as an early warning system for communities affected by climate and weather-related phenomena. The stations work as the media for dissemination of vital climate and weather information to the communities from the KMD. They are located in Isiolo, Kwale, Narok, Busia, Vihiga and Murang’a counties.

The letter to Tobiko is signed by JAffar Abdinasir (Isiolo), John Kilelu (Suswa), Moses Oloko (Vihiga), Stephen Beja (Kwale), Jane Waiyego (Murang’a) and Lydia Wang’oma (Busia).

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It is also copied to KMD Director Peter Ambenje, the Broadcasting and Telecommunication Principal Secretary, National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi, Media Council of Kenya, Communication Workers Union and Office of the Ombudsman.

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