The Provision of Rural Transport System: A case of Nyabiosi Sub-Location in Rigoma Division of Nyamira District

 

Many third world countries (Kenya included) have historically devoted a fair share of their development budgets on expansion of rural road networks as the prime means of enhancing accessibility and personal mobility of the rural dwellers. The rationale for transport infrastructure was, and continues to be, predicated on the concept of vehicular traffic. However, this has not necessarily translated to tangible benefits, as the roads in themselves have not accommodated the full diversity of demand for transport by the rural households that in most instances is not related to either a road, or the use of a motorised vehicle.

 This inadequacy has ensured that majority of rural inhabitants remain captives to a walking and head/back carrying mode of travel and moving goods. Transport activities continue to take up an inordinate amount of time and effort of the rural residents as they try to access activity centres. This negates rural poverty eradication efforts as households can only move from subsistence to higher levels of production and earnings if first they are able to meet basic needs by ideally spending less time and effort. Thus there is need to direct public investments to appropriate transport interventions that would reduce the unproductive time and effort spent by households on transport.

This research recognizes that rural transport is directly related to rural access problems, and it impacts negatively rural socio-economic development. However, lack of perception of local-level transport problems by policy makers has resulted to unresponsive rural transport systems. This research set out three objectives: to (i) establish the nature of the transport system in Nyabiosi Sub-Location, (ii) establish the nature and extent of access and mobility needs of the households in the study area, and (iii) propose appropriate interventions to increase accessibility and mobility capacity of the households in the study area and in other rural areas in Kenya with similar set ups.

The study took the household as the generator of rural travel and transport patterns. It also considered rural transport as the movement of rural people and their goods to meet their domestic, economic and social needs, by any means, along any conceivable infrastructure (including undesignated roads, tracks, trails and paths). Rather than analyzing the needs of transport system from the point of view of a particular function to be performed, the study focussed on the transport needs of individual households.

Many third world countries (Kenya included) have historically devoted a fair share of their development budgets on expansion of rural road networks as the prime means of enhancing accessibility and personal mobility of the rural dwellers. The rationale for transport infrastructure was, and continues to be, predicated on the concept of vehicular traffic. However, this has not necessarily translated to tangible benefits, as the roads in themselves have not accommodated the full diversity of demand for transport by the rural households that in most instances is not related to either a road, or the use of a motorised vehicle.

This inadequacy has ensured that majority of rural inhabitants remain captives to a walking and head/back carrying mode of travel and moving goods. Transport activities continue to take up an inordinate amount of time and effort of the rural residents as they try to access activity centres. This negates rural poverty eradication efforts as households can only move from subsistence to higher levels of production and earnings if first they are able to meet basic needs by ideally spending less time and effort. Thus there is need to direct public investments to appropriate transport interventions that would reduce the unproductive time and effort spent by households on transport.

This research recognizes that rural transport is directly related to rural access problems, and it impacts negatively rural socio-economic development. However, lack of perception of local-level transport problems by policy makers has resulted to unresponsive rural transport systems. This research set out three objectives: to (i) establish the nature of the transport system in Nyabiosi Sub-Location, (ii) establish the nature and extent of access and mobility needs of the households in the study area, and (iii) propose appropriate interventions to increase accessibility and mobility capacity of the households in the study area and in other rural areas in Kenya with similar set ups.

The study took the household as the generator of rural travel and transport patterns. It also considered rural transport as the movement of rural people and their goods to meet their domestic, economic and social needs, by any means, along any conceivable infrastructure (including undesignated roads, tracks, trails and paths). Rather than analyzing the needs of transport system from the point of view of a particular function to be performed, the study focussed on the transport needs of individual households.

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