giovedì 10 novembre 2011

ELWA Radio Station Gutted By Fire

The building housing the Eternal Love Winning Africa (E.L.W.A.) Radio Station situated in Paynesville, outside Monrovia, was gutted by fire during the evening hours of Tuesday, November 8, 2011 that caused a severe destruction to the structure as well as the broadcast facilities of the station. Prior to the fire incident, E.L.W.A. Radio was organized by the missionary group SIM, and operated as a Christian radio station on the assigned frequencies of FM 94.5 and SW 4760 kHz (60meters), with a transmission power of 1000 watts (1 kilo watt). The foremost goal of the founders of the station was "that all may hear the propagation of the tenets of the Christian faith by means of broadcasting." In 1952, the Government of Liberia granted to the station a permit for broadcasting with its assigned frequency and the call letters "ELWA" (Eternal Love Winning Africa), which were designated for what was soon to be Africa's first Christian radio station. Committed to the challenge, on January 18, 1954, Radio ELWA aired its first program with the hope that millions would be blessed spiritually. The station was massively destroyed as a result of Liberia's civil crisis in 1990, when E.L.W.A. radio was vandalized in July 1990, but in 1992, the station was resurrected through the effort of the SIM. Unfortunately, the station suffered greatly during the renewed fighting in1996. Following the 1996 crisis, national staff regrouped and purposed to start the radio ministry, and for the second time, SIM made a commitment to help rebuild ELWA Radio on the condition that the vision, initiative and management of the station remained solely a responsibility of the national staff. A responsibility, members of the national staff have been committed to before the fire outbreak on Tuesday. The Station Manager of E.L.W.A. Radio, Moses Nyantee, told this paper yesterday at the scene of the fire incident that the fire broke out at the time the station was carrying out its normal broadcast of the program "Heavenly Rest." He quoted a personnel of the station who he (Nyantee) said was on duty that night as saying that, while in the studio, "he was smelled smoke, came out and saw fire in the ceiling." The E.L.W.A. Radio Station Manager narrated that "before he (the staff) could call for help, the fire was already raging." He disclosed that with the exception of the station's transmitter, which he said is stored in a separate building, "all studio equipment got burned.