Barrister Fabian Awhen

Community development programmes simply put is a process by which the efforts of the people themselves are united with those of government authorities to improve the economic, social, and cultural conditions of communities to enable them to contribute fully to national development.

It is identified with any form of local government and can only be achieved with the willing cooperation of the people living together in a defined area.

Community development programme therefore denotes change; change geared towards an individual or group of individuals with the assistance of government to improve the quality of life of the people.

The objective may vary between states, local governments, or communities. This is because needs differ both in importance and principles yet, the goals are the same.

Conceptually, community development programmes seek to put in place necessities such as health facilities, mass education, water supply, rural electrification, road construction, and general physical planning so that an individual can enjoy what he, acting alone, cannot provide for himself. 

It is against this consideration that we call on local government councils in the state to do everything in their power to encourage communities to begin now to look inward if they have not done so in the past and to embark on at least one development project in their respective areas either alone or in conjunction with their councils.

This is in the understanding that the development of any community is measured in terms of physical development projects, their viability, and how it affects the quality of life of the people themselves.

Again, it is one way of benefiting from rural electrification, road development projects, and the construction of model villages and towns by the state administration.

Such community projects may include economic concerns like oil milling plants, garri or rice processing factories, and corporate farms among others.

Fundamentally, community development programmes underscore the importance of participatory government as it provides the basis for meaningful and lasting development.

The implication of such involvement is that it will arouse genuine public commitment and participation in government development programmes that are aimed at improving the quality of life of the people by the people themselves.

What this entails is the mobilization of human and material resources within the communities through unions, clubs, age grades, and other organizations to join hands in the development of their areas while at the same time bringing in government assistance to the relevant areas with the ultimate goal of making the government to meet the needs of the people.

Indeed, the time has come for communities to make themselves relevant and rise to the challenge of making life meaningful for themselves through self-help projects and stop depending on largesse from their chairmen or council representatives

This is one-way communities in the state can complement government efforts to improve the living standards of the people and fully share in the dividends of democracy.

Barr.Fabian Awhen

Barrister Fabian Awhen is a veteran journalist, prolific writer, public affairs analyst, and media consultant. He is a retired Director of News and Current Affairs, Cross River Broadcasting Corporation, Calabar.
Tel. 08035524490

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