THE RELEVANCE OF AFRICAN MEDIA SYSTEM IN COMMUNICATING ENVIRONMENTAL RISK IN NIGERIA (A STUDY UKELLE COMMUNITY INYALA LGA CROSS RIVER STATE)


ABSTRACT

This work Relevance of African Media System in Communicating Environmental Risk in Nigeria is for the knowledge impartment on people that do not know the environmental risks. There fore the work is divided into five chapters. Chapter one comprise the background to the study who discussed the major problems that are risks inhernet in Ukelle community in Yala local government area of Cross River State and it also states the problems, the purpose of the study, research questions, hypotheses, conceptual and operational definition of terms use in writing this research topic, chapter two also comprises of sources of literature review. More, in chapter three, I discuss the method use in this study, population of the study which is 15.237 and the sample of 200 were used which is solved with statistical chi-square table as the technique and analysis. Chapter four equally, treated data presentation and analysis which is analyzed with the simple statistical percentage together with research question, answers and testing of hypothesis, where as chapter five consist of summary, conclusion and recommendation which stated that for the fact that the rural dwellers dominated the population of African traditional system of communication, it is said to be the most effective channels that reach them and that planners and environmental risk message packagers suppose to observe norms and values existing in the various communities and that those living in risky areas suppose to be encouraged in planning and exciting environmental note programmes.

TABLE OF CONTENT

CHAPTER ONE

Introduction

1.1        Background of the study

1.2        Statement of the research problem

1.3        Objectives of the study

1.4        Significance of the study

1.5        Research Questions

1.6        Research Hypothesis

1.7        Theoretical Framework

1.8        Scope of the Study

1.9        Limitation of the Study

1.10    Definition of Terms

References

CHAPTER TWO

Literature Review

2.1    Sources of Literature

2.2    Review of Relevant Literature

2.3    Summary of Literature

References

CHAPTER THREE

Methodology

3.1    Research Method

3.2    Research Design

3.3    Area of Study

3.4    Research Population

3.5    Research Sample

3.6    Sampling Technique

3.7    Instrument for Data Collection

3.8    Method of Data Collection

3.9    Method of Data Analysis

3.10  Expected Result

References

CHAPTER FOUR

Presentation and Interoperation of Findings

4.1    Overview of Analysis

4.2    Analysis of Research Question/Hypothesis

4.3    Discussion of Result

References

          CHAPTER FIVE

Summary, Conclusion and Recommendations

5.1    Summary of Major Findings

5.2    Conclusions

5.3    Recommendations

Bibliography

Appendices

LIST OF TABLE

Table 1:     Demographic Data

Table 2:     Ukelle Community aware of environmental risk in

their village?

Table 3:     Respondent awareness of environmental risk in

the environment.

Table 4:     Uses of Traditional Media table

Table 5:     Effectiveness of traditional media table

Table 6:     Relationship between traditional made and

environmental communication.

Table 7:     Significant relationship between people

perception of environmental risk.

Table 8:     Variable and responses on relationship between

traditional media and environmental risk communication.

CHAPTER I

INTRODUCTION

1.1    Background of the Study

The effect of a bad environmental hazard on the health of an individual is not hidden. It could be seen through the poor quality of life especially now that there are frequent  outbreaks of diseases. One wonders whether our environment will be left to decay due to neglect. Nwabueze (2007:2) gave support to  this when he noted that the environment include the totality of activities, actions and situations that shape the existence of man or any organization in a given habitation.

Nowadays, the greatest challenge facing all nations is how to preserve the environment for the benefit of future generations. In most developing countries like Nigeria, there exist wide ranges of environmental problems which constitute environmental risk.

Moreover, the federal government through federal environmental protection agency (FEPA) and other related agencies is doing their best to check the situation. At the level, various state environmental protection agencies including non governmental organizations are trying their best towards the eradication environmental problems (Nwabueze 2004: 1-3). But despite all these efforts, environmental problems have continue to exist in the nation as it nothing is been done.

Although, environmental problems are seen everywhere both in urban and rural areas, one has to agree with two communication development experts, Colin Frazer and Sonia Refrepoe Strada cited in Olubunmi (2003:21) who insisted that for every problem, there is a solution through communication, but Olubumi (supra) argues that any attempt to address all environmental problems consequently involve all human beings on earth; he further  indicated that the process cannot be possible without effective communication.

Thus, according to Edwin – Emery (1969:11) communication is the act of transmitting information, ideas and attitude from one person to another. He equally stipulated that before communication can be said to have taken place, that there must be sources, otherwise, called the encoder, and audience receiver also called decoder.

Robert (1982: 96) equally agree with this when he say that communication also makes art, science, literature and political possible and comprehensible: adding that through communication man avoids the frustrating loneliness of isolation and finds a way of ratifying his needs and wants.

Similarly, Javawera (1991: 17) defines communication as “an interaction process through which persons or groups relate to each other and share information, experiences and culture”.

Therefore, the context of communication comprehensively clear and is beyond a reasonable doubt to the extent one cannot claim to have communicated without the receiver giving feedback to show that, what communicated is understood.

Moreso, African communication system will not be over emphasized, being that African system is indispensable in the communicating process, it especially in the rural areas, because, the channels are trusted and the majority of the people seems to believe in what comes out of them.

Regrettably, not all change agents realize the greatest opportunities they loose when they ignore this system of African communication. It may be on the basis of not having wider reach, but these systems as Wilson (2006: 10-11) says, political interest groups, political union, ethnic and town unions, national council for women, association, self help group, cooperative societies and cultural groups.

Nevertheless, other ones can not be over emphasized, owing to the fact that, there are still communication themselves these include, masquerade groups, choiral groups festival traveling theatre such as: African weeding ceremonies and initiation rites. Others are spiritual groups. Like Ogboni, Amorc, Witchcraft Societies, shrine and other organization in an open place such as family meeting (nuclear and extended) other ones include village announcer or town criers among others. However, opinion leaders do also help in influencing their followers by inculcating environment friendly attitude on them. This study is therefore designed to ascertain the relevance of trade system in communicating an environmental risk in Ukelle community in Yala local government area of Cross River state.

Historically Ukelle is comprised of four (4) villages which include: Wanokom, Wanihem and Wanikade, but according to historical background, Wanokom is the oldest that rule others according to the legend of how Ukelle was, when chief Ikpa Onah, was ruling, there was oneness of hearts, but after his death, the whole of the community were in crisis because, there were confused pertaining who will be the next king, evere before some were told that there were not sons of the soil which lured many of them to  relocate their original lands.

These four villages lived in a place called Wanokom about 20km West of the present site. Interms of location, Ukelle is located in South East Corner of Yala Local Government Area of Cross River State.

It occupies an area of approximately 25km or 230 miles and has population of 15.237 out of 1405 million people in 2006 population according to  N.P.C. office in Yala local government headquarter.

Their main occupation are trading, teaching, palm fruit processing and farming.

Major environmental problems inherent in Ukelle community are erosion, deforestation, bush burning and other unfriendly environmental culture such as detecting in the bush, dumping hazardous waste on the road.

In Ukelle the following exist as the major trade system of communication: council of local chief and masquerade while the town crier functions as the broadcaster, others  include age grade, objective which according to Nwogu (2005:177) are communication instrument based on objects which are non verbal information dissemination like palm fond (LIBU) kolanut etc.

Membramophone: this is also an instrument of communication that uses membrane (skin) of animals fixed to wooden frame to produce sound such as talking drum. Nworgu (2005:17) equally describe “aerophones as wind instruments which include flutes, whistle made from bamboo, animal horn and other ones like cannon shot among others”.

1.2    Statement of Research Problems

The problem which multivated this research is the alarming rate at which environmental risks is increasing in Ukelle community, despite government efforts in reconstruction of the roads and provision of gutters.

Secondly what promted this research also is nonchanlant attitude of people of Ukelle towards the control of deforestation and bush burning which lead to poor agricultural productivity and incessant erosion, especially during raining season, as Nwabueze (2004:2) state environmental problem leads to poor process of development, poverty and environmental illiteracy.

A case point was in June 1998 when three (3) children, Mr. and Mrs. Dan Ugbem were drown to death by erosion water.

Again was in 2005 when one Mrs. Igelle Inaku’s farms where burnt by anonymous and all the farm crops she planted got damaged, where as the poor woman has become aged without children.

Moreover, there is also a borrow pit which was dug by caterpillar bull dozer when roads where being reconstructed during governors Ebri Clement administration, this borrow pit is now a semi river. This water has also drawn many people to death some were people that went to wash their bread fruit (mellon) and others were those that went to swim but were caught by mud and unfortunately they got drown and died. Though, some of the village roads are now tarred, but yet erosion is still disturbing, there are some deadly pot holes dug by the erosion.

However, this environmental problems, erosion deforestation and bush burning have created a very irritating problem such as soil infertility to the extent that one cannot brag of good harvest without the aid of animal drops and fertilizer, even loamy soil which is known as best soil for agriculture has equally tuned to muddy land.

Moreover, this unfriendly environmental problem in Ukelle is being regulated over the years with the aid of African system of communication existing in the community.

Idiophone like metal gong, wooden gong, are always at the disposal of town crier to pass important information  in order to put bridges were erosion has damaged in order to rescuer people from being maimed.

Nevertheless, African system in communicating is always seen as the best medium of communication in Ukelle community. This is why the researcher decided to study the uses and equally the relevance of African media system of communicating environmental risk in Ukelle community.

1.3    Objective of the Study

This study is set to determine the relevance of Africa media system in communicating environmental risk in Ukelle community.

Secondly, it is to ascertain the perception of Ukelle community members towards environmental risk communicated through Africa systems of communication. And mostly to make people in Ukelle community to know environmental risk which is prevailing in the community.

1.4    Significance of the Study   

The significance of these studies can not be overemphasized. The finding of this study will interest government and non-governmental organizations, agencies, groups and other environmentalists who are interested in environmental management communication in order to foster environmental friendly attitude in people.

Moreso, the result of this study to large extent will assist government policy makers on environment, on how to educate, inform and mobilize rural dwellers towards protecting and maintaining the physical environment from degradation and pollution, the finding will also add to the existence of literature on environmental communication and efficacy of Africa media system of communication.

1.5    Research Questions

The following research question will be posed to guide the investigation. Are the members of Ukelle community aware of the existence of the African media?

Does Ukelle community makes use of African media?

Are the African media effective in communicating environmental risk in Ukelle?

To what extent do Ukelle leaders communicate environmental risk to community members through African systems of communication.

1.6    Research Hypotheses

For effective analysis of the research question, the following null and alternative hypotheses have been proposed.

Null Hypotheses

H1:    There is no decrease in the extent of environmental risk inherent in Ukelle community as a result of communicating the risk through Africa media system of communication.

H2:    No significant relationship exists between people perception of environmental risk and the use of African media system in communicating the risks.

Alternative Hypotheses 

H1:    There is decrease in the extent of environmental risk inherent in Ukelle community as a result of communicating the risk through Africa media system of communication.

H2:    There is significant relationship exists between people perception of environmental risk and the use of African media system in communicating the risks.

1.7    Theoretical Framework

Theory according to Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary (6th ed. 1241) is defined as a formal set of ideas that is intended to explain why some things happens or exist. Therefore am strongly indicating that, the theoretical framework of this research work is basically on one of the mass communication theory called “Bullet theory”.

According to Mass Communication academic dictionary (2007:40) defined Bullet theory as a common sense theory which states that, people are passive recipients of media information, that media can touch people and change them directly.    

However, Okunna (1999:161) expatiate the bullet theory as the early attempt to understand the effect of mass communication, she indicated that, media message was licensed to bullet released at a member of the audience like a bullet, the message would be received by the individuals directly and it would have an immediate and powerful effect on them, persuading them to behave exactly the way the message advocated.

Moreover, in the various communities where African systems of communication is being used, the reactions of audience in the community toward African systems of their communication always seems as that of bullet theory because what ever message passed by their village announcer or town crier as far as is from their Igwe or Chief is going to be executed as immediate as the message is seen to them.

Moreso, another theory that is suitable for this research project is social relationship theory which implies that the effect of media on the audience is the interaction between people in the society, in the sense that, the emphasis in the social relationship theory is on the interaction of members of society which is emphatically on interaction, interpersonal communication in face to face situations which is the members of the group ability to influence one another as Okunna (1999: 166) describe.

1.8    Scope of the Study

This study is base on the extent at which African systems of communication are very effective in communicating environmental risk in Ukelle community in Yala Local Government Area of cross River State.

1.10      Definitions of Terms

(Conceptual and Operational) 

This view point above associated with this study is given here to enhance meaning, sharing between the readers of this study and the researcher.

African system: African communication is regarded as the products on the interplay between a community’s customs conflict harmony and strife (Ekwelie and Okonkwo 1983:72).

Comprehensively, I treated African systems as the product of the interplay between Ukelle community customs and conflict, harmony and strife interpersonal relationship, symbols and code, oral tradition which includes mythology, oral literature, masquerade, rites, music, dance, dram, custom and similar abstractions and artifacts which could be used to pass environmental risk information to the community.

Environment: Environment could be referred to as many natural or artificial habitation  in which people exist and plants as well as animals, which also include the totality of activities, actions, and situations that shape the existence of a man or any organism in a given habitation (Nwabueze, 2007: 2-2).

Environmental Risk: According to Nwabueze (2007:157) environmental risk are night mares waiting to manifest and hauoc on human beings and organisms in the ecosystem.

Operationally: environment risk is defined as the likehood of undesirable development from erosion, bush burning, deforestation and dumping of hazardous refuse in Ukelle Community.