Feeder and access roads planning in rural development: A Case study of Busia District, Kenya
In Kenya as in other less developed countries, most of the poor people are found in the rural areas. The rural areas are less developed than the urban areas, despite the fact that about 90% of the people live in the rural areas engaged in agricultural activities, arid despite that agriculture accounts for about 70% of exports and 30% of the G.D.P. This situation arose, in other countries in general and Kenya in particular, because the previous development policies and decisions favoured the urban centres more than rural areas. But later, it was realised that any development effort without stress on development in the rural areas was liable to fail. The previous policies resulted in high migration influx in few urban centres causing many problems including unemployment in the urban areas. So as early as 1969 this problem had been realised in Kenya and several programmes and projects were planned to develop the rural Grea (S.R.D.P., designated service centres and many others ) Include among the factors which influence rural development are an efficient and reliable transport system. In the past in Kenya a major stress was on trunk reads in general and development of efficient road system in few regions especially the white Highlands. The study areas which was among the former Native Reserves has got very good trunk roads system which transverse it and mostly carries through traffice to or from Uganda and are inadequately linked to the road system within the district. There is a high potential in the district despite low standard of living and comparatively low levels of economic production. One of the factors which contributes to the under utilization of resources is the poor state of roads , where 93. 7% of the roads length are earth and gravel, and are wet, muddy and impassable when it rains. Many of the service centres plus other resources use areas are well served by roads except few places in the district. But regarding the condition of the roads, this is not true as most of the people are cut off from these centres and the services in them for sometime in the year. Therefore, there was need to improve the access roads in the district. There was also need to make a provision for the feeder roads especially j.n the planned sugar and rice schemes. This study has tried to show that there ere many facilities and services which contribute towards rural development. Rural development, by itself is a vague term which has not been adequately defined. But there have been several definitions on rural development, and from them it can be stated that in order for rural development to be attained there should be provision of economic and social services and physical facilities, transport8tion tokes a prominent part and the lack of transportation can have adverse effects on development. Innovations usually move along transport channels and for development in the rural areas to take place, innovations are very important. In Kenya, within the transportation network, the roads are most flexible than rail, water and air systems. The roads are also more adaptable for travel in the remote rural areas. Access roads which are comparatively cheaper to construct than other types of roads, increase accessibility in the rural areas. These type of roads if improved upon, have a vital role to play in the development of the rural areas!