The impact of ''Do Nou'' model of Community developement on Rural road maintenance: a case study in Uasin Gishu District, Kenya
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Impassable rural roads are serious problems during the rainy season in Kenya. This study assesses the impact on rural road maintenance utilising newly introduced 'Do-Nou' (gunny bags) technology in Western Kenya. 'Do-nou' is a Japanese word which means gunny bags containing soil to develop rural infrastructures with unskilled collective labour force. Data was collected in East and North Uasin Gishu and Wareng Districts, Kenya. Four groups were participating in the road maintenance project. The 153 of group members were sampled and interviewed using an interview schedule which was both open- and close ended. We found thatutilising gunny bags to maintain rural roads was not popular among group members. The respondents knew on how to utilise gunny bags for empirical purposes such as blocking water to reduce its speed on farm and roads, preventing soil erosion, and harvesting water for small-scale dams. They had no experience utilising gunny bags for rural road maintenance. Group members experienced 'do-nou' technology in practice. In the process of learning by doing, they realised that it became easier than it had at the beginning. The simple steps of the construction method were adopted by the group members. Also, a variety of awareness had arisen through 'do-nou' technology, and that awareness was linked to satisfaction and success. Consequently 'do-nou' activities created a web of awareness that will closely link motivation to activate group members' capacity development. Agricultural and social benefits were brought to group members. They realised that after the maintenance of roads, transport to markets became easier and they had more opportunity to earn their incomes. They also experienced easy access to hospitals and schools as social facilities. Those benefits improved their lives. However, several challenges remained for sustainable rural road maintenance by the group members' initiative. The most critical challenges were to mobilise materials and their transport cost. Two groups made efforts to implement further maintenance for rural roads, bridges, etc. In those cases, they collaborated with communities or Member of Parliament to mobilise materials and their transport costs. Those are the good lessons learnt for sustainable activities by group members' initiative. The study presented 'do-nou' model as a tool of community development. The impact of rural road maintenance activated group members' potential. 'Do-nou' activities became a trigger to challenge further problems that group members faced.