Uneasy life of VOV technicians in a cold, misty peak

(VOVWORLD) - In 2007, the Voice of Vietnam built an FM transmission station on Phja Oac, the second highest mountain in Cao Bang province in northern Vietnam. There, on the cold, misty peak, which is 1,931 meters above sea level, VOV’s technicians working at the station have been among the few residents.

Uneasy life of VOV technicians in a cold, misty peak - ảnh 1 VOV's FM transmission station on Phja Oac mountain is 70 km away from Cao Bang city.

The transmission station at the top of Phja Oac mountain is surrounded by clouds all year round, and by snow in the winter, where the average temperature is between 10 and 12 DC. One of the two station buildings has badly deteriorated from the weather. All 10 staff members of the Voice of Vietnam and officers of the mobile police force now work and live in the remaining building.

Uneasy life of VOV technicians in a cold, misty peak - ảnh 2 The station is surrounded by clouds all year round. 
Uneasy life of VOV technicians in a cold, misty peak - ảnh 3  Mobile police officer Ma Ngoc Chan

Lieutenant Colonel Ma Ngoc Chan, a mobile police officer who guards at the station, said, "The harsh weather forces us to save water as much as possible. For example, water used for cleaning vegetables is saved for other cleaning purposes. We buy food for the whole week or half a month ahead because the nearest market is 15 km away. I remember back in 2010 when it was so cold that this place was frozen for 12 straight days. We had to suck water from the water tank little by little. The building columns and the antenna were like ice trees."

Uneasy life of VOV technicians in a cold, misty peak - ảnh 4 One of the two station buildings has been degraded by extreme weather. 

The four technicians of Cao Bang’s Radio and Television Station are divided into two pairs who take turns manning the station in 10-day shifts. Since 2007, lightning has struck the station many times, disrupting the broadcast quality, said Phan Van Cong, one of the technicians. He said, "I often turn off the power during heavy rains to protect the machines from lightning strikes. My responsibility is to ensure the stability of the transmission to serve local ethnic minorities. Locals here really like listening to radio programs in ethnic minority languages. They often carry an FM radio with them to the fields."

Uneasy life of VOV technicians in a cold, misty peak - ảnh 5 VOV Vice President Vu Hai Quang (L)

The transmission station covers most of Cao Bang province and parts of its neighboring Thai Nguyen, Bac Kan, and Ha Giang province. Vu Hai Quang, VOV’s Vice President, said, "VOV is bolstering its traditional broadcasting methods: shortwave for foreign service and medium wave for domestic service. We’re also improving our super short wave coverage, which needs to be transmitted by a station in a high location like Phja Oac peak. We plan to upgrade this facility and boost its transmission capacity."

The staff who work at the station endure hardship to keep the local ethnic people informed about Party and State policies and guidelines.

"Keeping this national transmission station operating is one of the national goals. We always stay vigilant, stay united, and try our best to overcome all difficulties and challenges to complete the tasks assigned by the Party and the State," said one of the technicians.

" Living far from our family is not easy but we’ll do our utmost to ensure the safe, reliable operation of the station," a technician told VOV. 

Related News