RadioandMusic
| 14 Dec 2019
BBC Nepali earthquake lifeline public chat channel launches on Viber

MUMBAI: A BBC Nepali channel has been launched on the instant messaging and calling app, Viber, to deliver public service and emergency information in Nepalese and English. The service, produced by BBC Nepali in collaboration with the BBC’s international development charity, BBC Media Action and BBC Monitoring, is aimed at those affected by the devastating earthquake, in the region or elsewhere in the world.

The BBC Nepali account on the ‘Public Chats’ feature within Viber will help maximise the reach of vital information in the aftermath of the quake that has left thousands dead and many more injured or displaced. The channel offers daily updates in text and images, with lifeline public service information on the latest situation in the country, including details of relief efforts, rescue services and safety information. 

BBC World Service Controller of Languages, Liliane Landor, comments, “BBC World Service has been a global leader in the innovative use of chat apps over the past year. We have a successful ongoing Ebola WhatsApp service for people in West Africa, and we are using a lot of the expertise and experience from that project to launch this latest initiative on Viber. It’s vital that we do all we can to get potentially life-saving and critical information to all those affected by the earthquake, across all the platforms at our disposal. Our partnership with Viber will allow us to reach many of these people directly through their mobile phones.”

In response to the aftermath of the earthquake in Nepal, BBC World Service is broadcasting news and additional ‘lifeline’ programming on FM and shortwave in Nepalese (11995, 15510, 9650 and 5895 kHz) and in English (5895 and 9540 kHz). BBC Media Action is working with BBC Nepali and local partner radio stations in Nepal to broadcast the BBC’s special ‘lifeline’ programming.

The BBC Nepali radio programming is available for listening via the BBC Nepali website, on BBC 103FM in Kathmandu (which also airs BBC World Service’s global English radio programming) and via more than 260 FM stations across the country.  The BBC Nepali Facebook page has 1.7 million likes.

BBC Nepali is part of BBC World Service.