Engaging Community Stakeholders For Climate Change Research In The Niger Delta Region Of Nigeria: My Experience So Far
|Group photograph Paramount Ruler Mbodo-Aluu with CDC chairman and research team|
Home: University of Port Harcourt
|Visit to the Sapele LGA office of the HoD health and officials of the Delta State Primary Health care Board|
|Picture with CDC chairman of Ibada-Elume in Delta State|
The reception from these leaders was very warm, we were offered the customary welcome drinks and ‘kola’ (traditional symbol of acceptance). Our research objectives and methodology was well received and the required social license obtained in all communities. The typical comment from the community leadership was that “it would be good to know how healthy our people are”. It was also interesting to note that many of the communities requested written feedback on the findings and recommendations from the research. This desire will prove beneficial to the plans to disseminate research findings among members of these communities.
|Ibada Elume CDC chairman getting involved in data collection|
Contrary to some concerns, none of these communities made any financial demands on us and no one was hostile to us. Rather, in most of these communities, we were given a guided tour of the community and allowed unhindered access to locations for water and air quality assessments. So far, we have conducted community entry activities, collected water samples to assess quality of drinking water and conducted air quality assessments in six communities namely: Mbodo- Aluu and Omuhiombia in Ikwerre LGA of Rivers State, Ibada-Elume and Oton in Sapele LGA of Delta State, Sampou in Kolokuma/Opokuma LGA and Nedugo in Yenagoa LGA in Bayelsa State. Each community has so far been visited twice with favourable responses. These experiences have served to reinforce my appreciation of community entry activities as key to profitable research activities and research uptake in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria.