Empowering Rural Farmers to Improve Livelihoods Through Environmental Risk Communication: A Case Study of Uganda

  • Goretti L. NassangaEmail author
Part of the Climate Change Management book series (CCM)


The chapter examines how effective environmental risk communication can empower rural farmers in Africa to improve their livelihoods, using Uganda as a case study. Specifically looking at climate change that is considered a global risk, the chapter explores how media are domesticating the climate issues to meet the grassroots’ right to relevant information, thereby assessing how media are carrying out their Responsibility to Protect (R2P) the vulnerable rural farmers. The analysis is based on primary findings from a survey of rural farmers that assessed their access to environment and climate change information, the extent they perceived these as “risks” at the personal, community and national levels and the relevancy of the information received. Findings showed that although farmers perceived climate change as a big risk, they did not go beyond the risk identification and risk assessment stages to the last stage of taking action for risk reduction/protection as the information received from the media was not solution-oriented. Rather than engage in “risk communication” or “risk dialogue” that is a participatory process, media engaged more in “risk information giving”. Gaps to effective risk communication are highlighted, and strategies presented to address them to ensure media carry out their R2P to the rural farmers. These findings provide a useful guide in effective environmental risk communication to rural farmers that should result into better adaptation to CC and improved production, thus contributing to a reduction in poverty levels and overall development in Africa.


Climate change communication Responsibility to Protect Risk communication Risk information giving Solution-oriented communication 



The research for this chapter was funded by the collaborative Research Project “Strengthening Media in Post-Conflict Societies through Education and Research - Bridging Gaps, Building Futures in Uganda, South Sudan, Nepal and Norway”, under the support to Makerere University Kampala by the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD).


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Makerere UniversityKampalaUganda

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