Communication and Raising Citizen's Consciousness of Climate Change Challenges and Adaptation in Nigeria

Akudo Azu

School of Media and Communication, Pan-Atlantic University, Lagos, Nigeria.

Kizito Ogedi Alakwe *

School of Media and Communication, Pan-Atlantic University, Lagos, Nigeria.

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.


Abstract

The global impact of climate change remains a grave concern to every nation, from severe droughts in East Africa to wildfires in Australia and extreme floods and landslides in India, Nepal and Bangladesh, and, recently, the devastating floods witnessed in Nigeria, climate change challenges continue to escalate. Climate change is driving people out of their homes and ushering in a world of poverty. Extant literature avers that at the centre of mitigating the adverse effects of climate change and stimulating the desired action is communication. Consequently, this paper seeks to interrogate the centrality of communication as a tool in the hands of policymakers, the media and international donor agencies in stimulating public consciousness in Nigeria towards climate change challenges and adaptation. Leveraging a quantitative and exploratory approach and using surveys with structured and unstructured questionnaire questions, the study exposed gaps in citizens' knowledge of the causes of climate change and revealed the level of awareness of climate change challenges, people's attitudes to climate change, sources of information, and desired medium of communication among the Nigerian public. The study highlights the interplay between the contents of climate change communication and actionable steps that are easy to be understood and relatively simple to be followed by the citizens. Finally, the paper contends that much more needs to be done in sensitising citizens on climate change while suggesting a combination of alternative communication strategies that promise to stimulate citizens' awareness of climate change challenges and adaptation in Nigeria.

Keywords: Climate change, environmental degradation, global warming, climate change adaptation, strategic communication


How to Cite

Azu, Akudo, and Kizito Ogedi Alakwe. 2023. “Communication and Raising Citizen’s Consciousness of Climate Change Challenges and Adaptation in Nigeria”. International Journal of Environment and Climate Change 13 (4):203-19. https://doi.org/10.9734/ijecc/2023/v13i41728.

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