People choose to live in urban and rural areas so they can have a better quality of life. They want to be at the heart of economic activity, and to have more job opportunities and other social and economic advantages. However, environment brings a range of challenges on people living in city and the rural areas. While living in close proximity to our daily activities can lead to more resource efficiency and so contribute to sustainability, other factors such as air pollution can be far more acute in cities (Hagen and Stout, 2003).
The Ethiopian government is committed to making Ethiopian’s cities and rural areas healthy, attractive and sustainable, and to improving citizens’ quality of life, now and for the future. Over the last 50 years, Ethiopian cities and rural areas have seen dramatic improvements in terms of mobility, green areas and waste management, and this has contributed to a significant improvement in living standards. However, Ethiopia’s cities still face a number of environmental challenges which influence the everyday lives of millions of Ethiopians and these often highly political issues need to be tackled through cooperation between local, national and Ethiopian authorities and their stakeholders.
Green spaces, quiet streets and recreational parks are important for relaxation, health and sport, nature watching and social activities. Open areas and green parks are important building blocks for promoting quality of life in urban environments.
On the other hand, Ethiopian agriculture is dominated by subsistence, low input-low output, rain-fed farming system. The use of chemical fertilizer and improved seeds is quite limited despite Government efforts to encourage the adoption of modern, intensive agricultural practices. Low agricultural productivity can be attributed to limited access by smallholder farmers to agricultural inputs, financial services, improved production technologies, irrigation and agricultural markets; and, more importantly, to poor land management practices that have led to severe land degradation. Ethiopia has one of the highest rates of soil nutrient depletion in sub-Saharan Africa. Estimates suggest that the annual phosphorus and nitrogen loss nationwide from the use of dung for fuel is equivalent to the total amount of commercial fertilizer applied. Land degradation is further exacerbated by overgrazing, deforestation, population pressure and inadequate of land use planning. There exists a gap between the scientific researchers and the users. A lot of findings from the research institutions and laboratories are not used by communities across the country. Research information on improved seed varieties, better farming techniques, post-harvest handling and marketing are not used by farmers either because the information did not reach them, either because the implementation of the received information is not clear. The gap between the researcher and the farmer is even wider in the rural areas; large distances separate researcher from rural farmer. Other barriers like language and diversity of cultures also come into play making it even more difficult for the research information to reach the intended audiences.
It is evident that development implies change, and the first change that takes place is the attitude of the people who will be directly affected by the development in this case, the farmers and rural communities. In order to achieve this goal, there must be a fundamental change in the way farmers approach agriculture and the rate at which they adapt new technologies, husbandry and farming practices.
In order to achieve this change both urban and rural communities need to be informed on the importance of adapting these new practices. Attempts by extension workers through demonstration farms and working with communities have not been sufficient to bring about change in attitudes. Radio has often been used to complement the efforts of the extension workers. However the use of radio as a mass media has its limitations such as poor signals, limited reach in certain areas, top-down approach, and limited airtime and in appropriate programming. This calls for a shift in the use of radio from mass media to community centered as already illustrated in the paper. McQual et, al (1979) noted that this media role emanates from a collective, organized source with a purpose and a clearly specified objective. It is targeted to a specific section of the population and conforms to established norms. Having these roles of mass media in promoting environmental protection, and taking in to consideration media scholars’ comments there is an organization in Ethiopia who broadcasts environmental program running on Jimma Fana FM 98.1 aiming at created a series of environmental radio programs designed to educate farmers, and to enable them to improve their agricultural practices. Farmer listeners were central to the development and implementation of the radio campaigns. The researcher noted that Forum for Environment works with different regional states of Ethiopia. But this study is dedicated to assess the impact of this environmental radio program sponsored by the campaigning name called `Forum for environment` and this environmental radio program making the community environmental issues and interactions in such a way that agricultural innovations encouraging them to take up new environmental protection practices that would improve their food security among certain peasant farmers in Jimma area.
The extent to which Jimma FM.98.1 Radio contributes to improving the environmental program and its situation of its listeners is not well investigated. This study examines the impact of Forum for Environment radio program of Jimma FM.98.1.
Research Questions
The questions below serve to further break down the aim and objectives of this research in order to simplify them and guide the focus of the thesis. This research based itself on the Forum for Environment radio program, a sponsored radio program in this case radio for its development and research dissemination in Ethiopia in special reference to communities around Jimma town, where the radio transmission reaches. The results may be of general relevance, but may also not be directly applicable to situations of radio use in community development elsewhere.
1. Does the Jimma Fana FM.98.1 Forum for the environment provide its audience with enough information through its environmental program?
2. How do audiences of the forum for environment program of Jimma FM.98.1 perceive the program?
3. How far has the Environment program broadcasted on Jima Fana FM.98.1 raised community awareness?

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