with Abdoulie Dibba
This column is meant to monitor and report on issues that concern the people of the rural area in terms of how they are facilitating or hindering their development.
The people of Sabach Sanjal District have again raised their voices on the poor road network in their District during a visit to the area by this columnist on the 29 to 31 October, 2015.
According to the people of the District, even though they have never voted against the ruling party both in the first and second republic, in terms of development, the District is also left behind particularly in road network.
According to Babou Ceesay, the only feeder road project that the District can boast of was built by the EDF in 1976. Since then he said, the road has not been maintenanced or rebuild.
“Good road network facilitates the movement of people thereby allowing social interaction among the people of the District and low transport cost,” stated Mr Ceesay.
Due to the poor roads in the District, drivers only stop at strategic points and if you are with goods, you have to hire a donkey or horse carts.
This hiring of donkey or horse carts Ceesay continued, increases the prices of the goods which is passed on to the buyers.
Fatou Jallow, a commuter from Niamina Dankunku District informed this columnist that the poor road network in Sabach Sanjal is not only creating economic hardship to the people of Sabach but the people of Niamina as well.
According to her, it is cheaper to travel from Niamina via Kani Kunda to Farafenni than Soma to Farafenni.
She noted that it costs D35 to travel to Farafeeni via Kani Kunda while taking the route through Soma will cost D100.
“A good road network is essential not only for connecting villages with business centres but improving connectivity with isolated local communities where public transport options are limited or not available thereby reducing the high transport cost to people,” said Fatou Jallow.
Rural Developmentalists are of the view that connecting geographic locations through road networks facilitate the transportation and movement of people, goods, and services thus enhancing rural welfare.
It is an incontestable fact that good road networks play a crucial role in the economic development of developing countries particularly the rural areas which is dominated by agricultural workers who need to transport their produce to the market.
Good road networks reduce the travel time between two places, increases the frequency of the transportation network and hence reduce travel costs.