Abstract: The research examined radio broadcasting on environmental Sanitation Campaigns in Port Harcourt. A survey research method was adopted while accidental sampling technique was equally adopted. Also questionnaire was used to collect data for this study. The data were analysed in frequency and percentage tables. It is obvious that RSSA often use radio and other mass media to promote environmental sanitation campaigns in Rivers State. By and large, it is clear that there is adequate airtime for the airing of environmental sanitation and other ecological matters. Many of the respondents watch and listen to environmental sanitation activities and programme on both radio and television very often as time to air sanitation programmes. It is obvious that many of the respondents admitted that programmes on environmental sanitation via radio is picturing what is going on in our society while on average, it can be said that there is participation in radio programmes. Radio and other media should have a special desk to be called environmental and climate desk to effectively and efficient disseminate information on weather, climate and other environment matters.
1.1 Background to the Study
Throughout the world, the problem of polluted environment has become a very disturbing phenomenon. Environmental problems plaguing the world are enormous. But perhaps the most serious and worrisome in Nigeria is the physical environment in terms of the low level of sanitation and gross environmental indiscipline in our cities and communities. Anijah (2013) adds that, apart from the health significance of heaps of refuse as health hazard, they also make our environment ugly. The problem of solid waste disposal in Nigeria has become a national malaise. Filth is an eyesore and a nuisance. It signifies decadence and backwardness. A look at the many Port Harcourt homes, toilets, streets, kitchens, corridors, gutters, staircases, markets, abattoirs, would reveal the very low levels of sanitation. Poor environmental sanitation such as indiscriminate waste disposal is evidence of the crucial role environment occupies in deciding the health of a man.
In fact, never in the history of Nigeria has the need become more imperative and urgent to sharpen our consciousness concerning our surroundings. For in such consciousness lies our dignity and salvation as a people and as a nation. This is because some Nigerians still go about with the dangerous impression that (Filth does not kill black man). However, over the years, specific measures undertaken by the Nigerian government both in the past and present have not yielded significant success. Despite the fact that the objectives of environmental sanitation are to create and maintain conditions in the environment that will promote health and prevent diseases (Okon, 2007) cited in (Lucas and Gilles,1973).
More and more, efforts focus on prevention of disease to save healthcare care costs. This is particularly important in low and middle income countries like Nigeria where health interventions have come under increased scrutiny because of the cost (Ryan, 2009). To this end, the research sets to assess the role of radio broadcasting in behavioural change of the Port Harcourt residents in relation to the environmental sanitation and other cleanliness and neatness.
Radio is an electronic device that uses electromagnetic wave for the transmission of messages, information, communication and it possesses some attributes which place it upon the television broadcasting (Oyekanmi, 2006:4). Radio gives people voice and offer a forum for discussion on matters such as environmental sanitation and other developmental issues. Radio takes up this responsibility and ensures vulnerable groups in society are included and represented in their programming.
Radio stations educate, sensitize and inform local audiences about issues that affect their lives: health, education, water, human rights, etc. This way, radio is a genuine tool for community development (Abiola, 2010:1).
Anijah-Obi Franca, Eneji, Ubom, Dunnamah and William (2013) write that poor environmental sanitation is a term means low level of sanitation and gross environmental indiscipline in our cities and communities. Apart from the health implication of heaps of refuse as a health hazard, they also make our environment ugly. Meanwhile, environmental sanitation is the general cleaning of the surrounding to make it clean and tidy which capable of improving living. The problem of solid waste disposal in Nigeria has become a national malaise. Most of the poor sanitation takes place in Nigerian homes, toilets, streets, kitchens, corridors, gutters, staircases, markets, abattoirs. The woe of poor environmental sanitation such as indiscriminate waste disposal is evidence of the crucial role environment occupies in deciding the health of a man.
However, over the years, specific measures undertaken by the Nigerian Government both in the past and present have not yielded significant success. The promulgation of environmental decrees and legislations have also proved ineffective. During the colonial era, sanitation bye-laws were strictly enforced and sanitary inspectors carried out regular and surprise inspection of households, buildings and premises to ensure compliance.
Another initiative was in 1985 when the government declared the “War Against Indiscipline” (WAI) and launched the fifth phase of WAI, called the “War Against Filth,” which emphasized environmental Sanitation. Environmental Task Forces and Sanitation Courts were established in all the states of the federation and the last Saturday of every month was set aside as National Environmental Sanitation Day.
Unfortunately the sanitation courts and other Agencies charged with the responsibility of implementing/enforcing “Environmental Sanitation”, were more interested in revenue generation for the government (or for their personal pockets), than actually using the exercise as a corrective measure, by persuading defaulters to change their habits and attitudes and show more commitment to keeping their environment clean.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
The importance of environmental sanitation cannot be overemphasized especially in this era of packaged and disposable goods – sachet water, plastic water, plastic drinks and more that if not well disposed could dirty our environment and host of other problems. Thus, man’s activities on the environment has tended to degrade and make the environment untidy and unfit for human habitation because of its poor sanitation nature.
From the foregoing, it is evident that provision of adequate environmental sanitation facilities and services could at best be referred to as means to an end. The attitude and behavioural practices of the stakeholders determine the end (Bello, 2007).
Also, issues related to environmental sanitation practices have been explored by many researchers. For instance, there are studies on environmental sanitation as an exercise (Adejumo, 2013; Afon and Faniran 2013; Aluko and Agbola 2007; Nwachukwu 2008), health effects of environmental sanitation (Mmon and Mmon, 2011; Harvey, 2008), community participation in environmental sanitation (Ekong, 2013; Daramola, 2012; Luithi 2012; UNEP, 2005), environmental sanitation management (Acheampong, 2010) and environmental sanitation education (Anijah et al, 2013; Aremu, 2012). These studies have focused on issues pertaining to provision and deficiencies of facilities and services as well as legislation. Studies on environmental sanitation habits are quantitatively unimpressive, especially in Africa. With little empirical studies on the role of mass media especially broadcast media in promoting and creating behavioural change needed in achieving environmental sanitation. It is against this background that the study is examining the influence of radio broadcasting on behavioural chance of people on environmental sanitation campaigns in Port harcourt.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The main purpose of this study is to examine Radio Broadcasting and Behavioural change: A study of Environmental Sanitation Campaigns in Port Harcourt. The specific objectives will be to:
- Ascertain the extent of radio listenership in Port Harcourt.
- Find out whether the Rivers State Sanitation Authority engages in sanitation campaigns on radio.
- Ascertain, whether enough air time is allotted to airing environmental campaign messages in Port Harcourt
1.4 Research Questions
1. To what extent do people listen to radio programmes in Port Harcourt?
2. To what extent does the Rivers State Sanitation Authority engages in sanitation campaigns on radio?
3. To what extent do enough air time is allotted to airing environmental campaign messages in Port Harcourt?
1.5 Significance of the Study
The significant of the study is to reveal to the entire world; the role expected of mass media especially radio concerning environmental sanitation and sustainability of the environment. Policy makers may find the study useful as it may suggest new ways to address the problem of environmental sanitation.
Although, media role on environmental degradation and sanitations in Niger Delta often reported and researched into by the scholars, despite that, many of the study did not focus on the behavioral change of the respondents as a result of their expose to radio campaigns on environmental sanitation.
Researchers will also find this work very interesting as it can be used as reference materials that will guide them while writing on a similar topic or the same topic.
1.6 Scope of the Study
This study which examines radio broadcasting and behaviour change has been narrowed in scope to Environmental Sanitation Campaigns by radio stations in Port Harcourt. Port Harcourt was selected because it is the state capital of Rivers which plays host to lots of people and industries.
1.7 Operational Definition of the Terms
Radio Broadcasting: This is one of the means of reaching out to the people in the form of programmes on environmental sanitation.
Environmental Sanitation: This is a general cleaning of the surroundings to make it clean and tidy in order to prevent diseases and other forms of illness in the society.
Campaigns: These are various radio programmes in Port Harcourt design to create awareness, knowledge and educate people on the negative effect of dirtiness, pollution and poor sanitation and how to change for better hygienic living.
Behaviour change: In this context refers to efforts to change people’s personal habits to prevent disease such habit include environmental sanitation.