Participatory Environmental Communication for Sustainable Natural Resource Management in Ethiopia
Lake Tana is the largest lake in Ethiopia which has multifaceted socio-economic function in the country’s development. However, the lake is infested by water hyacinth since 2011 and efforts have been exerted to control the weed. This study is meant to explore the perceptions and practice of ANRS Environment Forest Wildlife Protection and Development Authority development (EFWPDA) communication experts on Participatory environmental communication in eradicating water hyacinth from Lake Tana. The qualitative case study was conducted on the basis of the participatory development communication model which has been assumed to bring about sustainable natural resource management. The data were collected using in-depth interviews, Focus Group Discussion (FGD) and document analysis. The collected data were organised and analysed in the form of content and thematic analysis. The finding revealed that participatory communication in EFWPDA is equated to a public relation activity of organising campaigns and the local people are urged to participate by providing labour contribution of harvesting and collecting the weed from the lake. The communication approach was found to be a one way top-down approach which does not facilitate a horizontal dialogue among stakeholders.