Impact Of Roads, Water And Electricity On The Growth Of Small Urban Centers; The Case Of Tala-Kangundo, Machakos, Kenya

The study examines the role played by road network, water and electricity supply within the context of small urban centre growth. Based on the policy assumption that providing small urban centres with basic infrastructure will enhance non-farm and farm activities in terms of high incomes, high employment levels and thus improved standards of living, the validity of such an assumption is explored.

From the findings and subsequent analysis, it is revealed that the maximum utilisation of installed infrastructure has not been realised. Roads have played significant roles as far as incomes, land values and marketing of farm produce is concerned. Lack of adequate water supply measured in terms of quantities required versus the capacity available reveal that the impact of this facility has been minimal. Electricity significantly raises incomes, employment levels and land values, thus making land available for development.

Other factors such as types of activities and the functions of a centre also affect the level of utilisation of installed infrastructure as shown by this study. Technical, institutional and community-oriented issues affect infrastructure utilisation. To address the above issues, recommendations and policy implications are given which mainly focus on how installed and future infrastructure provision for small urban centre can yield maximum benefits.
 

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