ROLE OF MASS MEDIA IN URBAN DEGRADATION AND ENVIRONMENTAL SANITATION IN NIGERIA

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ROLE OF MASS MEDIA IN URBAN DEGRADATION AND ENVIRONMENTAL SANITATION IN NIGERIA

ABSTRACT

This project examines the roles of the media on enhancement of urban degradation and environmental sanitation in Nigeria. It also
examine the environmental management problems with its implications on human health. The objectives of the study is to examine
the causes, erects and solutions of urban degradation and environmental sanitation in Nigeria, especially Nsukka urban of Enugu
State. The method of research used was survey method as it is relevant in testing the opinion of the public in a matter of this kind.
It is therefore expected that the background, literature review will help to know how to protect the environment from urban
degradation and reduce urban sanitation to the barest minimum.

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background of the Study

The study of the media and the society has no limit as it is an already occurrence. According to Agbo (2003); mass media have
contributed a lot in the development of our country. This background of study covers a wide range of issues in the society.
Nwogbunyama (2010:76) adds that “the media are interwoven with the society that neither of them can exist without the other.
This study will address the functions which the mass media perform in order to benefit the individual and other members of the
society. These functions includes:
i. Information: This is the constant stream of information about events in the society. Among the positive consequence of this
function is the guidance which it gives to the individual in the his/her daily lives.
ii. Socialization: The media through socialization, help people to operate as an elective member of the society and fosters
social cohesion and awareness thereby permitting active involvement of the individuals in public life.
iii. Education: Mass media help in transmission of knowledge so as to foster intellectual development, the formation of character
and the acquisition` of skills and capacity at all stages of life.
iv. Entertainment: The media do entertain through the diffusion of its sounds and images of drama, dance, Arts, literature music,
comedy, cartoons, sports, games etc for personal enjoyment.
The other major functions of the media are as follows:
Surveillance of the society
Interpretation of event meaning
Socialization of individuals into the cultural setting.
Therefore, the mass media changes the perception of the society towards enhancing urban degradation and environmental
sanitation especially to the people of Nsukka Urban of the state. According to Ugorji (2004:18), “the respect for the life and good
health imposes on us the service obligation of promoting a healthy environment, taking adequate care of our economy that,
sustains life and consequently avoid or minimize environmental pollution and degradation which endangers life and health.
Ugoechi (2000), under education and enlightenment campaign of the media, the hazards associated with environmental
pollution should be given extensive and wide publicity through the media. The government on the other hand, should embark on
service enlightenment campaign to ensure that information on how best to dispose waste are handy, particularly among the
dwellers of the Nsukka urban areas. Ugoechi stated again that laws should be put in place to catch up with defaulters that litters the
environment. Incinerators and dustbins are to be provided and put in strategic positions so that wastes and refuses are not littered
in our environment. To him, environmental workers and their staff are to be regularly paid to prompt speedy evacuation of these wastes.
Osogbu Stephen (2007:62), said that “due to rapid urbanization in the past three decades especially in Nsukka urban, water
management has become a major problems, mans unguided development and ineffective. Waste management in also a problem
and so result in a degraded environment and outbreak of diseases such as cholera, diarrhea, dysentery, malaria etc.
As it stands, eective waste management in Nsukka urban needs to be addressed urgently to achieve a sound sustainable
environment. In order to achieve this, the environmental sanitation in Nsukka urban will through the media involve the
government and other NGO’s in the campaign against indiscriminate dumping of refuse in the environment, illegal erection of
buildings in approved sites and other activities of man in the environment. In order to achieve this environmental sanitation in
Nsukka urban will through the media involve the government and other NGO’s in the campaign against indiscriminate dumping of
refuse in the environment, illegal erection of buildings in unapproved sites and other activities of man in the environment.
1.2 Statements of the Research Problems
Nsukka Urban is fast loosing its long held prestige as the cleanest city in the state as almost all its well constructed roads and streets
are now being littered with refuse dumps and as a result, poses threat to health and life of the citizens and also aect its aesthetics
values.
The problems of urban degradation and environmental sanitation in Nsukka urban have led to atmospheric pollution, water
pollution, offensive odour, accidents and tragic congestion and general degradation of the environment.
This is an eye sore to our prestige as waste dumps are becoming homes for armed robbers and other street urchins and finally gives
rise to global warming. The regimes of Nsukka LGA chairmen in 1999-2003,2003-2007,2007-2009 failed to provide avenue for refuse
disposals in the urban city of Nsukka.
This failed eort by the local government bosses enabled our streets to be unpassable as heavy dumps of refuse are heaped at every
corner. the council failed also to provide a constructed abattoir meat sellers ,construst well graded roads with gutters. These areas,
includes, the UNN second gate, Onuiyi axis of Nsukka, the Ugwuawarawa link road to Alor and host of other unkept portions of
Nsukka with heavy refuse dumps.
The main abattoir in Nsukka was situated at the centre of the Ogige market thereby constituting health hazards to the marketers.
In Nsukka, there are unapproved building being erected at every nook and cranny of Nsukka and the council chairmen under such
regimes failed to issue order for demolition of such illegal buildings as these buildings deface the entire look of Nsukka Urban and
again block the free flow of running water during rainfalls.
There are uncleaned gutters that are being filled up with refuses which the environmental workers do overlook in performing their functions.
The council boss also failed in actualizing the dreams of Nsukka in becoming the cleanest city in Enugu State.
They did more harm than good to Nsukka urban in maintaining cleanness of the city.
In 2003, the council boss started the beautification of the areas which he did not accomplish and this has made Nsukka to look
odd and defaced due to failed eort of the boss. There are unfinished road projects, markets and other social amenities which have
helped in making the Nsukka urban look so dirty.
The failed eorts by the past council chairman did more harm than good in enhancing urban degradation and environmental
sanitation in Nsukka urban.
This contributed immensely on the poor condition that the Nsukka urban is facing in terms of urban cleanness.

1.3 Objectives of the Study

The main aims or objectives of this study is to argue for the adoption of urban sanitation in managing the environment especially
the Nsukka urban. The objectives are to:
i. Examine the issue of Urban degradation and environmental sanitation in Nsukka urban and negative eects on human
health.
ii. To identify challenges facing environmental management and proer solution.
iii. To examine the gains, in having a good and eective urban sanitation.
1.4 Significance of the study
This research work is done in order to alert the society through the media on the degradation and environmental sanitation
especially in Nsukka Urban and the impact it has on the healthy and well being of the state in particular and the country in general.
The study or research will also enlighten the people through the media and its practitioners, the government and the ESWAMA on
their roles in maintaining urban and environmental cleanness.
The cleanness of the environment will improve the living standard of the people by avoiding the spread of communicable diseases
which includes cholera chicken pox, dysentery, diarrhea etc to residents of Nsukka urban.
There will be proper maintenance of the environment if these requires are not dumped or littered indiscriminately in the environment.
This will equally reduce the rate of defacement of the environment in Nsukka urban.
Finally, the cleanness will increase or improve the free flow of traics as there will be low or little dumps of refuse in our
environment.
The beneficiaries of such cleanness includes market women, children, residents of Nsukka urban, students, artisans, drivers and
environmental managers.

1.5 Research Questions

The research questions are mainly focused on the role of mass media in enhancement of urban degradation and environmental sanitation in
Nsukka. The functions are:
i. How do you view the role of the media in the enhancement of urban degradation and environmental sanitation in Nsukka?
ii. Are you aware of the mass media messages on the enhancement of urban degradation and environmental cleanness.
iii. What are the implications of health hazards of a dirty environments to lives of Nsukka urban?
iv. To what extent do citizens support the improvement of environmental cleanness by paying their taxes or sanitation levies.
v. Can the problem of indiscriminate refuse dumps in Nsukka urban be solved through the mass media campaign.
1.6 Research Hypothesis
The research hypothesis of this study will be based on the research questions.
H1: The mass media play significance role in enhancing urban degradation and environmental cleanness in Nsukka.
H0: Mass media do not play any role in enhancing urban degradation and environmental, sanitation in Nsukka urban.
H2: The health implication of dirty environments to the lives of Nsukka urban are not dangerous?
H0: The health implication of dirty environments to the lives of Nsukka urban are dangerous?
H3: Are people aware of the media messages on the need to enhance urban degradation and environmental sanitation.
H0: Are People not aware of the media messages on the need to enhance urban degradation and environmental sanitation.
H4: Citizens support the urban cleanness through the payment of taxies.
H0: People do not support sanitation through their inability to pay their sanitation levies and taxes.
H5: Do Media campaign help to solve the indiscriminate dumping of refuse in Nsukka urban
H0: Media campaign cannot solve the indiscriminate dumping of refuse in Nsukka urban.

1.7 Theoretical Framework

According to Agbo and Ukozor (2004:40) a theory can be said to be a formed set of ideas that intends to explain why something
happens or exists.
Bower and Contright (1984:13) defined theories “as set of statements asserting relationships among classes of variables”.
Little John, (1996:3) defines theories as a scholars best representation of some of aairs based on systematic observation” Griin
(1994) also takes this broader view writing that a theory is an idea that explains an event or behaviors’.
Mark Eze (2011:66) also sees a theory “as a systematic and logical statement of how phenomena are related to one another.”
For the purpose of this study two theories of mass communication shall be considered appropriate for the study. They are as
follows:
i. Social Responsibility Theory: According to Agbo and Okoro (2003:23) this theory of mass communication states that the m

ROLE OF MASS MEDIA IN URBAN DEGRADATION AND ENVIRONMENTAL SANITATION IN NIGERIA

ROLE OF MASS MEDIA IN URBAN DEGRADATION AND ENVIRONMENTAL SANITATION IN NIGERIA