Assessing the role of communication in tackling poverty and hunger in Zambia: A case of Mackenzie, Nkwazi and Twapia Townships of Ndola
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The role of communication in highlighting poverty challenges and how they can be encountered has wider benefits for society and thus cannot be overemphasized. There is therefore need for policy actors to recognize and support the potential contribution of mass media in poverty alleviation strategies in low-income countries including Zambia.With effective communication from government and development agencies to beneficiaries in underprivileged communities, poverty can be reduced to minimum levels. Povertylevels in the Twapia,Nkwazi and Mackenzie Townships are still high despite efforts from various organisations. It appears , the messages generated by the agencies and the channels utilized for disseminating these same messages lack in some ways and therefore fail to impact positively on the intended audience i.e. community members in the selected townships. This research seeks to appraise the strengths and challenges of Development agencies’communication strategies for poverty reduction. This study aimed to assess how communication strategies by the government and various stakeholders enable the tackling of poverty in Zambia.This study was descriptive and involved assessing how communication methods are used in tackling poverty in selected underprivileged townships of Ndola. Data was obtained from both primary and secondary sources. The study utilized both qualitative and quantitative methods such as interviews, focus group discussions and questionnaires. The findings reveal that the sources of information are mainly formulated by the government through its communication policies/strategies to alleviate poverty. The projects and programs that are meant to alleviate poverty in Zambia, however do not have much impact on the people living in abject poverty. Conversely, most of the people that benefit from such programs are those that are close to the community leadership such as councillors, chairpersons and treasures among others. The messages by stakeholders are hinged on sustainable development of poor communitiesbut not as effective as they should have been due to the fact that the sources and channels, of these messages are formulated by people who don’t really feel the impact on the ground. In conclusion, this study has shown that projects and programs meant to alleviate poverty do not normally reach the desired targets, partly due to lack of proper communication strategies.
University of Zambia
Master of Communication for Development