The International Press Centre (IPC) has launched a project to drive community development in Ikorodu, Lagos Mainland and Alimosho Local Government Areas of Lagos State.
Titled, ‘Enhancing Inclusive Grassroots Development through Media Driven CSO Engagement with Duty Bearers in Lagos’, the project is being supported by the British Council through funding by the European Union.
During the mapping/consultative meeting in Alimosho Local Government, Abiodun Adeleke, Project Officer, IPC explained that the one-year project aims at strengthening existing community structures to meaningfully engage with duty bearers and government officials in order to bring development to the communities.
Adeleke also noted that, “we will be training community members, Community Development Associations on how to meaningfully engage with government officials to ensure dividends of democracy gets to the grassroot.”
He said the approach that would be used is advocacies as opposed to agitations, stressing that, “instead of continuous agitations without results, we want to engage strategically with the duty bearers and it is expected that issues that are germane to the citizens would be addressed.
“Using a media driven methodology, we hope to project to the government some of the key issues in the community so they can be addressed,” he added.
Adeleke highlighted that the community members are leading the process but with adequate support from IPC and media professionals.
He also tasked the community representatives to identify and engage the duty bearers on community projects that are measurable and attainable within the one-year scope.
Also, Mr. Raji Rasak of IPC explained that the project is a vital one which sees community members at the fore of development.
He said, “community members are usually not interested in issues within the community but they will be the one to bear the brunt if they lack anything.”
He stressed that those at the grassroots need to ensure they’re involved in bringing development to their communities.
“The project will run in a way that community representatives will identify the issues in their community that the government needs to address. Community members will be trained to engage with duty bearers instead of being confrontational,” he added.
CDA members, market representatives and community members from Ayobo/Ipaja LCDA identify some key issues they hope the government would urgently attend to.
Somme of the issues/projects identified are: drainage at Legacy Road in Mighty God Estate, fencing of the cemetery at Legacy road, electrification project at Olugbede market in Egbeda, truancy in schools, abandoned health care, insecurity and blocked drainage channels in Abesan estate.
These issues community members said are impacting negatively on the overall quality of life of residents of the community.