SELF-HELP PROGRAM AND RURAL development
SELF-HELP PROGRAM AND RURAL DEVELOPMENT
As the name implies, a self-help programme and rural development is a technique in which residents of a community work together to build or renovate their community and meet their basic requirements using their own time and resources (Onajide et al 1990).
The field survey method was used to analyse the various infrastructure programmes implemented by self-help and government in Ibiono Ibom Local Government Area. Data were gathered from both primary and secondary sources. The questionnaire was administered to a sample size of 400 people.
The data was analysed using the simple percentage approach, and the student “T test” was used to assess the study hypothesis at the 0.05 level of significance, yielding a computed result of 2.23.
According to the data, there are considerable discrepancies in the number of rural infrastructures established by the government and those developed by self-help.
However, the study also recommends some good measures that community members should employ to achieve good results in development projects, such as raising awareness about the importance of self-help in rural development,
developing policies that would guide community members in effectively participating in their community development project, and recommending that the government establish the Grass Root Development Agency (GDA) to ensure that money voted by Gove is spent on community development projects.
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Rural community development using a self-help strategy has been a long-standing social activity in our society. People had organised themselves into groups and used communal resources to offer physical development and functional facilities in their own localities long before the arrival of the colonial authorities.
For example, communal labour was used to create homesteads, clear farm areas, roads, and even public utility structures like the “Obas” palace, market stalls, and town halls (Journal Central European Agriculture number 7 2006).
Some previous attempts to accomplish rural development in Nigeria failed due to the 1970s oil boom, which gave the people the mistaken notion that the government should cater for all of their needs.
As a result, the spirit of self-help was marginalised. However, the country's current economic realities has compelled citizens to seek a long-term solution to their communities' social and economic problems through self-help.
The community development association develops its own rules and regulations, plans, and executes its programmes with little or no intervention from outside agencies.
Their activities specifically include having meetings to discuss their programmes and initiatives, identifying their perceived needs, and participating in their community development project activities by giving manpower, money, and ideas.
Their primary goal is to build community infrastructure through greater education, more access to advanced medical treatment, expanded economic prospects, and a variety of modest community development activities.
The employment of the self-help technique in community development is regarded as a social action process in which members of the community organise themselves for action planning, establishing group and individual plans to satisfy their needs and address their issues. They carry out their goals with the greatest possible reliance on community resources and labour.
The self-help strategy entails the full engagement of all community members. Individual participation in rural development initiatives is an act of involving inhabitants in a project that necessitates a democratic approach. The concept is that all members contribute to the problems that impact them.
As the name implies, self-help projects involve voluntary efforts carried out by ordinary citizens. It is the mechanism by which programmes can be meaningfully linked to individuals (Sipegal 1968). For the sake of sustainability, citizen involvement in rural areas is best carried out in collaboration with rural residents.
Rural areas in Nigeria are generally characterised by a poor drainage system, a lack of infrastructural services and social facilities, poor living conditions, low income earners, and fewer government programmes to improve people's social and economic lives.
Rural areas in Nigeria have not felt the impact of government since independence because the previous administration lacked adequate apparatus for implementing rural development programmes to make life meaningful for the rural population.
According to Lele Una (1995), rural development is the process of raising the living standards of the rural poor and making the process of their growth self-sustaining. The inadequacy of government-sponsored projects to stimulate development in rural areas prompted individuals to consider “helping themselves” through citizen engagement.
The underlying principle underlying self-help participation is the recognition that government resources are limited; thus, the need to help themselves is to come together as a group with their initiative and togetherness in order to better their lives and the development of the community (Paul Davidoff 1985).
The success of many rural development initiatives and programmes around the world has been related to the utilisation of local group participation in programme design, execution, and evaluation (Abenebichi 1982).
The developments that characterise rural areas are tremendous; so, the purpose of this study is to investigate the extent to which people have intervened to help themselves through a self-help method.
STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
One of the key development challenges in the Ibiono ibom Local Government Area is the lack of essential rural infrastructure. Because history shows that 75% of the population in Ibiono is rural, rural development becomes critical.
According to Ekop (1993), a region with appropriate infrastructure is more likely to be developed than one with insufficient infrastructure. The key issue impeding rural development in the study area is the insufficient availability of infrastructure and social services.
However, what amount of intervention by the people themselves is required to minimise the magnitude of the problem using a self-help approach? The main goal of this inquiry was to find an answer to this question.
1.3 PURPOSE AND OBJECTIVES
The purpose of this study is to determine the level of engagement in rural development of the inhabitants of Ibiono Ibom Local Government Area. The following objectives are outlined in order to achieve this goal.
Identify the different types and numbers of rural infrastructure in the study area.
To look into the types and amounts of infrastructure projects completed under the self-help approach.
To investigate the many ways in which citizens might participate in initiatives.
To examine the elements influencing people's participation in rural infrastructure development.
To have access to the findings' implications for rural development planning.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
To provide solutions to the difficulties identified in the study area, the following research question will be required.
How many pieces of rural infrastructure are there in the research area?
What types and numbers of infrastructure projects has the self-help method undertaken?
What are the numerous methods that the study area participant employs?
What are the key factors impeding people's effective engagement in rural infrastructure development in the study area?
What impact do self-help programmes have on rural development planning in the research area?
1.5 JUSTIFICATIONS OF THE STUDY
Rural development has been a major concern of the previous government, but the failure to achieve this through government intervention has caused the people of Ibiono Ibom to consider alternative ways to improve their living conditions and socioeconomic life by banding together and participating in self-help projects,
and thus, the study is justified in such a way that it will show- case the level of participation of the citizen towards the province. As well as elements impacting rural development participation through a self-help method.
THE HYPOTHESIS FORMULA
The research findings will be guided by the following hypothesis. The following hypotheses are listed:
Ho: There is no significant difference in the amount of rural infrastructure projects established by the government vs self-help techniques.
Hi, there is a significant difference in the number of rural infrastructure constructed by the government and self-help approaches.
1.7 SCOPE AND LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
Self-help programmes are a broad issue that cannot be thoroughly researched. As a result, the focus of this study is on self-help projects in rural development, with specific reference to the Ibiono Ibom local Government Area,
which has eleven (11) political wards and a total of 208 villages. Rural infrastructure such as schools, boreholes, health centres, marketplaces, roads, and power are prioritised.
The research will essentially identify the rural development project done by the citizen and analyse the level of participation by the people in the study region. The study will also emphasise the elements impacting people's effective engagement in the study area, as well as analyse additional issues resulting from the study's purpose.
1.8 structure OF THE STUDY
This research paper is divided into six chapters. Chapter one, often known as the introductory chapter, contains the introduction, which provides a broad overview of self-help programmes, a statement of difficulties, a summary of the study's aim and objectives, research questions, and justification for the study.
The second chapter discusses the conceptual framework and literature review, while the third chapter discusses the research area in terms of location, historical background, people's culture, physical setting, and population characteristics.
Chapter four describes the study's methodology and procedures, while Chapter five depicts data presentations, data analysis, and discussion of conclusions. The summary, recommendations, and conclusion are found in the final chapter (chapter six). This is followed by references and then an appendix.