Using Radio Communication to Empower Communities to Deal With Early Marriages, Teenage Pregnancies and Alcohol Abuses in Nigeria
Objectives of the study
The objectives of the study are to:
1) Evaluate the communication strategies used by AKBC radio in helping Akwa Ibom fishing community address issues of early marriages, alcohol abuse, and teenage pregnancies.
2) Find out the communication relationship between AKBC radio and the members of the fishing community and the communities near it.
3) Assess strategies in order to enhance and increase participation of the Akwa Ibom fishing community members and other communities.
4) Determine how far AKBC radio has achieved its objectives.
REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE
CONCEPTUAL AND THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK
Dudley Seers (2006) defines development as the “reduction and elimination of poverty, inequality and unemployment within a growing economy.” While Michael Todaro (2006) suggests that improving living standards must ensure wider economic and social choices. He argues that development should “expand the range of economic and social choice to individuals and nations by freeing them from servitude and dependence, not only in relation to other people and nation states but also to the forces of ignorance and human misery.” Similar to what has been said above is the definition of Schramm and Winfield (1967: 425) who saw development as “the economic and social changes taking place in a nation as it moves from a traditional to a modernized pattern of society, these changes are associated with division of labor, growth of industry, urbanization, and incomes, and the preparation of citizens – by literacy, education of citizens, and information – to participate broadly in national affairs.” Kasoma (1994) writes that development is improvement in human life conditions at individual and societal levels, which is achieved through desirable but fluctuating changes, or adjustments in the environment. For Mwosa (1987), development becomes all things to all men and women. He says that its definition depends upon which community one belongs to. To an urban dweller, development means more job opportunities, more buildings, and better facilities. On the other hand, to a villager it might mean easier access to water, an irrigation scheme, or primary health care. Foure (1996: 177) refers to development as the general improvement of human conditions in the third world. Development is measured by the existence of conditions that were not present prior to implementation of intervention programmes. Lastly, the Communication for Development Manual (2002) defines development as a long process of qualitative and quantitative changes in society in political, economic, social and cultural terms, which leads to individual or collective well-being. In all the above definitions of development, we see that human life is mentioned. True development, whether material or non-material, puts the human person at the centre. The other common element, which is noticeable in all the definitions, is that development entails progression from one stage to another. The understanding of development by Kasoma gives us a good summary: It involves human life conditions and progression from lower to a higher level. Development in this study will be looked at as a progression of people from less human conditions to more human conditions.
A lot of definitions have been made regarding the term communication. But these attempts by various scholars to give a definition of the term have landed in a predicament because there is no single approach to the study of communication (Madondo, 2002: 36). Some scholars have defined communication as a symbolic social process, which occurs when we have an idea in response to something we have seen or heard (Wimmer and Dominic, 1997: 134). Communication involves co-orientation and sharing of meaning. We share some of meanings of the words or gestures because we speak the same language and belong to the same culture. Communication also occurs in a context and, as such, it is contextual. Communication in one context will have different characteristics from communication in another context. For instance, there is more feedback in family communication than in mass communication (Infante et al 1997:11). Berelson (1964) says that communication is the transmission of information, ideas, emotions, skills, etc by use of symbols like words, pictures, figures, graphs, etc. McQuail (1994:492) writes, “The term communication has many meanings and definitions but the central idea is of a process of increased commonality or sharing between participants on the basis of sending and receiving messages.” Lievrouw (1993) gives a good and comprehensive definition of the term as she writes: Communication is the process of sharing ideas, information and messages with others in a particular time and space – communication includes writing and talking, as well as non-verbal communication (such as facial expressions, body language, or gestures), visual communication (the use of images or pictures, such as painting, photos, video, or film), and electronic communication (telephone calls, electronic mail, cable television, radio, or satellite broadcasts).
In this chapter, we described the research procedure for this study. A research methodology is a research process adopted or employed to systematically and scientifically present the results of a study to the research audience viz. a vis, the study beneficiaries.
Research designs are perceived to be an overall strategy adopted by the researcher whereby different components of the study are integrated in a logical manner to effectively address a research problem. In this study, the researcher employed the survey research design. This is due to the nature of the study whereby the opinion and views of people are sampled. According to Singleton & Straits, (2009), Survey research can use quantitative research strategies (e.g., using questionnaires with numerically rated items), qualitative research strategies (e.g., using open-ended questions), or both strategies (i.e., mixed methods). As it is often used to describe and explore human behaviour, surveys are therefore frequently used in social and psychological research.
POPULATION OF THE STUDY
According to Udoyen (2019), a study population is a group of elements or individuals as the case may be, who share similar characteristics. These similar features can include location, gender, age, sex or specific interest. The emphasis on study population is that it constitutes of individuals or elements that are homogeneous in description.
This study was carried to examine Using Radio Communication to Empower Communities to Deal with Early Marriages, Teenage Pregnancies and Alcohol Abuses in Nigeria. AKBC radio form the population of the study.
DATA PRESENTATION AND ANALYSIS
This chapter presents the analysis of data derived through the questionnaire and key informant interview administered on the respondents in the study area. The analysis and interpretation were derived from the findings of the study. The data analysis depicts the simple frequency and percentage of the respondents as well as interpretation of the information gathered. A total of eighty (80) questionnaires were administered to respondents of which only seventy-seven (77) were returned and validated. This was due to irregular, incomplete and inappropriate responses to some questionnaire. For this study a total of 77 was validated for the analysis.
SUMMARY, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION
It is important to ascertain that the objective of this study was to ascertain Using Radio Communication to Empower Communities to Deal with Early Marriages, Teenage Pregnancies and Alcohol Abuses in Nigeria. In the preceding chapter, the relevant data collected for this study were presented, critically analyzed and appropriate interpretation given. In this chapter, certain recommendations made which in the opinion of the researcher will be of benefits in addressing the challenges of Using Radio Communication to Empower Communities to Deal with Early Marriages, Teenage Pregnancies and Alcohol Abuses in Nigeria
This study was on Using Radio Communication to Empower Communities to Deal with Early Marriages, Teenage Pregnancies and Alcohol Abuses in Nigeria. Three objectives were raised which included: Evaluate the communication strategies used by AKBC radio in helping Akwa Ibom fishing community address issues of early marriages, alcohol abuse, and teenage pregnancies, Find out the communication relationship between AKBC radio and the members of the fishing community and the communities near it, Assess strategies in order to enhance and increase participation of the Akwa Ibom fishing community members and other communities and Determine how far AKBC radio has achieved its objectives. A total of 77 responses were received and validated from the enrolled participants where all respondents were drawn from AKBC radio. Hypothesis was tested using Chi-Square statistical tool (SPSS).
Radio is an important ally in combating poverty and underdevelopment in rural communities such as Akwa Ibom state. The radio is renowned as a powerful tool of communication in development. In the fight against poverty, and underdevelopment, community radio plays a pivotal role in the sense that it embraces everyone‟s ideas, and contributions against problems that stand in the way of progress. The community identifies the problems that hold back their development, plan on how they can tackle the problems, and where they will get resources to resolve these problems. The community is also central in monitoring and evaluating the performance of their efforts in solving the problems they face. The community radio takes this up as its agenda and brings in other experiences from within and elsewhere that would help in the plans of the community in order to overcome the problems people face, and so help the community to develop. This study revealed that Akwa Ibom community faces lack of high schools leading people to having only basic education, pupils dropping out of school due to long distances to school resulting in high levels of illiteracy, alcohol/drug abuse, early marriages, and teenage pregnancies. These factors are a huge contributor to poverty and underdevelopment in Akwa Ibom. Akwa Ibom is home to a serious Lack of recreation facilities, and this situation has fuelled the escalation of abuse of alcohol abuse, as well as substance abuse such as marijuana. This lack of recreation facilities has also contributed to high levels of sexual activities among teenagers as they use sexual intercourse as a means of recreation. This has led to teenage pregnancies on one hand and HIV and AIDS infections on the other hand. Lack of information on how to use the returns from fishing activities has impacted negatively on Akwa Ibom community as people waste their income on things like alcohol, and sex. This way of wasting money breeds gender based violence as quarrels arise over shortages of basic needs in homes. One of the consequences of gender based violence is that some children are forced by circumstances to marry early as they search for independence from their violent home environments. Some girls seek solace in boyfriends in whom they hope to find love. However, the ugly reality is that for many girls, it is not love that they find, but pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections including HIV and AIDS. AKBC radio would play a critical role in helping Akwa Ibom to deal with the above issues by according these issues ample air time and as much as possible allow the community to participate sufficiently in programming. This could be done by employing participatory approaches involving the community. It is also vitally important for AKBC radio to seek for feedback from the community on the effectiveness of their programs, and also find out how much the programs are appreciated by community members. The language that is used is critical for development or in solving particular social problems. The usage of English language in most of the programs disadvantages the Akwa Ibom community as many people do not understand the English language due to high illiteracy levels in the area. AKBC radio should pay particular attention to improving the signal. A bad or poor radio reception signal leads to people missing out on very pertinent information that can positively alter their lives. There should a deliberate plan to announce or advertise programs and topics in advance in order to allow people some time to prepare for them in the hope of contributing meaningfully. It is also important to appropriate enough time to air programs dealing with issues affecting the community so that people will be able to listen to them without divided attention. Appropriate timing for certain programs would help people to follow these programs in a way that does not conflict with the times for the people‟s economic activities.
The government should pay particular attention to the financial needs of community radio stations as they are crucial in addressing particular needs of the communicates in which they are located and the communities to which they broadcast. If properly funded, community radio stations like AKBC can help to deal with issues of teenage pregnancies, alcohol/drug abuse and early marriages among many social problems that impede development. Sufficient financial support to community radio stations could go a long way in facilitating visitations to various communities by the radio stations‟ members of staff thereby creating good interactivity among all stakeholders. Such interactions help in proper programming to deal with different issues affecting the community.
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