Chad Differences Across Regions


South and Southwest Sector

Regions: Chari-Bargirimi, Logone Oriental,
Logone Occidental, Mayo-Kebbi,
Moyen-Chari, Tandjille

Central African Republic Refugees Crisis
in South
More Developed Capital Region
in South West

Eastern Sector

Regions: Guera, Ouaddai, Salamat

Sudanese Refugee Crisis

Central Sector

Regions: Lac, Kanem, Batha, Wadi-Firi

Famine Warning Zone

Regions in Chad

Chad has 18 regions- of which 4 new regions were added recently by dividing already existing regions. [1]  The BBC 2009 survey used the older division of 14 regions based on the latest available census for the purpose of conducting this survey. We divided each of these regions into four sectors for the purpose of analysis- Northern, South/Southwestern, Eastern and Central.  

See table to left for how we divided the 14 regions into 4 sectors

The Northern sector of Chad extends into the arid Sahara desert, and is economically underdeveloped and underpopulated.[2]   The supply of electricity is poor and effective broadcast transmissions are severely limited. It extends from the Borkou-Ennedi-Tibesti region in the north (excluded from the survey due to logistical reasons).  

The Eastern sector of the country includes Ouddai, Guera and Salamat for this survey. Ouddai, the easternmost region, has  faced grave challenges with the influx of Sudanese refugees escaping the Darfur crisis as well as internally displaced Chadian refugees. [3] 

The bottom half of the country has a much wetter, and typically tropical, climate. [4]  South-Western Chad is better developed with greater availability of electricity and greater transmission, especially in urban areas, and around the capital region.  There is also a wider variety of private radio stations. Along the Southern border regions, Salamat, Moyen-Chari, etc, face challenges of displaced Central African Republic (CAR) refugees residing in camps.

In fact, according to the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), an estimated 350,000 refugees from Sudan and the CAR reside in camps in eastern and southern Chad, as of December 2009. This taxes already limited resources. In addition, as mentioned above, Chad also has many internally displaced persons (IDPs) - close to 170,131. [5]

The Central sector of the country is part of the pan-African subtropical climate band called the Sahel region (containing the Kanem, Batha and Biltine regions and northern parts of Guera, Chari-Baguirmi and Salamat).  It is a region of transition between the Sahara desert in the North and the Soudanian savannas in the south of the continent. This region in Chad is at risk of a severe famine affecting 2 million people, according to an assessment in December 2009 by the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET) .[6]  The impact of poor cereal harvests and poor rainfall are greatly exacerbated by the refugee situation.  [7]

Note: These sectoral divisions created for the purpose of this report are not completely in sync with the specific geography or climate of Chad, since climate can vary drastically within some of the larger regions or overlap across the borders of regions, thereby also affecting level of agriculture and subsequent economic development. But in essence, these sectoral divisions are intended to illustrate the specific issues Chad faces across different regions.

Weekly media use by sector is somewhat variable (see chart 1 below).

Chart 1

Radio is the main conduit for mass communication in Chad across all sectors, but people in different sectors tend to use different frequencies (see chart 2). FM radio comes out on top in the more developed South/Southwest, whereas shortwave/AM radio is more important in the less developed Central and Eastern sectors.  This is also due to lesser availability of FM stations in the less developed sectors (state run RNT and some international channels available in medium wave or short wave format).

Chart 2

Table 2


The only stations showing high nationwide reach are the state run Radiodiffusion Nationale Tchadienne (RNT) and international broadcasters such as BBC and RFI.

There are regional listenership differences for the national-reach stations particularly RNT, (see table 2). Other radio stations, generally run by non-profits (generally FM stations with limited reach) were only accessible to populations within the region they broadcast (this is discussed within each region below).

Listenership to the state-run RNT also varies across each region, as shown in Chart 3. Listenership was higher in the East and the Center where non-profit radio stations were limited or inaccessible.

Chart 3

South and Southwest Chad: Chari-Baguirmi, Logone Occidental, Logone Oriental, Mayo-Kebbi, Moyen-Chari and Tandjile

Table 3 below shows the regions included the south/southwestern sector, with their individual capitals and populations.

Table 3: South/Southwestern Chad

The Southwestern sector of Chad contains the capital N’Djamena in the Chari-Baguirmi region, which is economically more developed than the rest of the country. Better weather conditions also ensure better agricultural yields, in addition to greater availability of electricity, especially in urban areas. Radio listenership is highest in this sector compared to other sectors.

Chart 4

Capital Region: Province Chari Baguirmi

Many private/community radio stations broadcasting out of the capital region in the south/southwestern sector are popular there but inaccessible to the rest of the country. They are run by nonprofit organizations, religious institutions and other non-governmental entities. Average listenership of state-run RNT is lowest in the south/southwestern region because there are more stations available (see chart 3 above).

The charts below show listenership of the leading radio stations in the south/southwestern section.

Chart 5, 6 and 7


FM Liberté has high listenership in Chari-Baguirmi (Chart 5). It is a radio station owned by a group of human rights organizations and broadcast from N'Djamena. It was launched to provide general news and information with a particular emphasis on human rights and governance.

FM Harmonie (Chart 6) was launched by the cultural association Harmonie and is financed by the French Embassy of Chad. It broadcasts from the capital and mainly promotes the French language and Chad's cultural identity. [8] Dja FM (Chart 7, right) was the first privately-owned radio station in Ndjamena and is targeted at youth and women. The programming includes news and interactive shows in French and Arabic broadcast for over 60 hours a week.

Other stations such as Al Nassour (FM 102.10 from N’Djamena)  and La Voix de l'Esperance(FM 91 from N’Djamena) are also popular in Chari-Baguirmi (Charts 8 and 9 below).


Charts 8 and 9

Other Regions in the Central Sector: Moyen Chari, Logone and Tandjile

Chart 10, 11, 12 (below)

Radio Lotiko (Chart 10), most listened to in Moyen Chari, actually broadcasts from two towns in that region – Sarh (FM 97.6) and Koumra (FM 100.10).

Duji Lokar (Chart 11) broadcasts from Mondou- the capital of Logone Occidental at FM 108.20, and hence is most listened to in that region as well as the neighboring Logone Oriental.

La Voix du Paysan (Chart 12, right) broadcasts from Doba, the capital of Logone Oriental at FM 92.20. It is owned by the Catholic Church and broadcasts locally produced programming in French and indigenous languages from Doba over a 140-mile range. [9]



Most Listened to Private Radio Stations in Tandjile

Effata Radio (Chart 12) is a religious (Christian) community station broadcasting in the region of the Tandjilé at 98.0 FM. Listenership is highest in this Tandjile region as well as in neighboring Mayo-Kebbi. According to the station's website, they target youth in these regions. [10]
Chart 12, 13

Eastern Chad: Guera, Ouddai and Salamat

Table 4 below shows the regions included the eastern sector, with their individual capitals and populations.

Table 4

There are estimated to be close to 270,000 Sudanese refugees in Eastern Chad and to close to 170,000 internally displaced Chadians. This complex emergency (in addition to 81,000 Central African Republic refugees in the South) affects local agriculture, livestock rearing and other livelihood activities. [11]

In addition, relief operations in this sector have been constrained by security problems, especially along the Chad-Sudan border. Several humanitarian operations have been temporarily suspended.  [12]

Listenership to the nationally available, state run RNT is highest in the East. In addition, shortwave radio is listened to in larger proportions among radio listeners in the east, than in other sectors. This is because the East lacks the range of non-profit FM stations we see in the South/Southwest, and state run RNT (AM broadcast) is the only source of information for the largely illiterate and poor population here.

Chart 14

In an attempt to fill a large information and knowledge gap, some small community radio stations have been set up recently in the Ouddai region by nonprofit groups (listenership for these stations is not available in the survey). Most of these stations do not have national reach, but they serve an important purpose in the easternmost remote regions where information sources are indeed very scarce. 

Starting in 2005, Internews built three community radio stations- Radio Absoun, Radio Sila and La Voix du Ouaddaï - along the Chad-Sudan border and trained local journalists to run them. The stations give Darfur refugees and displaced Chadians access to news that directly affects their survival, including information on security, food rations, and water distribution, as well as general news about their home areas. The stations also serve as a communication channel between relief agencies and camp dwellers. Another issue that they address through their programming is gender-based violence through special programming on women’s issues.

*weekly listenership for these Internews radio stations was not available, for more information click here.  [13]

Central: Kanem, Batha Biltine and Lac

Table 5 below shows the regions included the central sector, with their individual capitals and populations.

Table 5

The Central regions of Kanem, Batha, and Biltine straddle the Sahara and the Sahel. The climate in the Sahel zone is divided into a rainy season (from June to early September) and a dry period (from October to May). This part of Chad thus is not alien to a recurrence of food insecurity and famine. Levels of acute malnutrition are often chronically higher than emergency thresholds in the central, pastoral regions of Chad.  [14]

The drought in 2009 was characterized by late and erratic rainfall, resulting in a significant reduction in the cereal harvest and poor pasture conditions, according to the UN Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO). [15] In addition, high food prices and low food availability in the local markets in Sahelian Chad was also observed. [16]

This has a direct effect on health and nutrition in the region.  Based on nutrition surveys conducted by Action Contre la Faim (ACF)  in Noukou and Bahr el Gazel  regions in Kanem regions,  the prevalence of acute malnutrition was above 15 percent in both areas (see map to the left).  Survey findings were of particular concern in Bahr el Gazel, where global acute malnutrition (GAM) prevalence was 20 percent to 29 percent, according to UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs OCHA, nearly double the WHO emergency threshold;  mortality rates approached emergency levels. [17]   The report issued by the Famine Early Warning System Network also said that:

“Seasonal rains are not expected until June 2010, and therefore, food security is likely to erode further over the next six months, possibly driving rates of malnutrition and mortality even higher. More sedentary agro‐pastoral households are most at risk because their lack of mobility constrains their ability to cope with food insecurity.”  [18]

Chart 15

Weekly radio listenership in Central Chad (see chart 15) is close to the national average but is largely limited to SW/AM stations such as the state-run RNT (see chart 3 above). BBC and other international stations have a limited reach here, and there is a real lack of non-profit stations in this region.

Especially given the current situation of famine, malnutrition and other health concerns, sources of information- both formal and informal are vital. In addition to the various food security programs and relief work, this sector will also greatly benefit from community radio stations informing them about relief operations, food security programs. 

Pictures Courtesy: Internews on Flickr



[1] Regions Excluded From the Survey:
Borkou-Ennedi-Tibesti Region split into:
           Borkou Region (containing the former Borkou Department)
          Ennedi Region (containing the former Ennedi Est Department and Ennedi Ouest Department)
          Tibesti Region (containing the Tibesti Department)
was excluded in this survey due to logistical and security issues.

    * Barh El Gazel Region (containing the former Barh El Gazel Department) was split from Kanem Region but was included in the Kanem region in the survey

 * Sila Region (containing the former Djourf Al Ahmar Department and Sila Department) was split from Ouaddaï Region, but were included within Ouddai for this survey.

*The region of N'Djamena is ruled under a separate law, which is written down in the constitution, in the year 1996. The region of N’Djamena is further divided into 47 sections. But for the purpose of this survey, it was included within Chari-Baguirmi.

*Hadjer Lamis separated from the Chari-Baguirmi region but is included within it for this survey.

[2]  Chad Climate Change Country Profile. UNDP Accessed from

 [3] Internews in Chad. Accessed here

 [4] Chad Climate Change Country Profile. UNDP Accessed from

[5] UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)

[6] Famine Early Warning System Network Announcement. Access here-

[7] Chad- Complex Emergency USAID. Accessed from

[8] Panos Newsletter. Accessed here

[9] Chad Profile-State Department-

[10] Diocese of Lai, Accessed from

[11]  Ibid

[12] USAID-Complex Emergency

[13] Internews in Chad. Web Pages Accessed:

[14]  Famine Early Warning System Network Announcement. Access here-

[15]  Chad- Complex Emergency USAID

[16] Report issued by the European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid Office (ECHO)


[18] Ibid