The Role Of Transport Infrastructure On The Socio-economic Development of Mundemba Sub-Division
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The creation and development of the transport road network has an important role to play in the economic development of a country. Therefore, any kilometre of paved road existing in a country is often used as an indicator to analyze the extent of its development. The proper development of the transport networks not only reduces the cost of transportation, both in terms of money and time, but also helps in the integration of various regions within the country and the better understanding of neighbouring countries at the international level. This is the reverse in the town of Mundemba as poor transport network has slowed down its economic development of Mundemba. This study was carried out with four specific objectives and a hypothesis. To achieve the objectives and test the hypothesis. A multidisciplinary research method was utilized which collected primary and secondary data relating to the effect of road transport on economic development. The data were analysed using elements of the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) and presented as tables and charts. The results revealed that the state of road transport network in Mundemba is very poor especially during the rainy season where excessive meteoric water causes the soils, which are sedimentary in nature, to be muddy. This has greatly affected the economic development of the town negatively as many business men are unwilling to invest in Mundemba.This therefore calls for proper maintenance of the already existing roads and the creation of new roads and new transport systems in the area as economic development is strongly dependent on the state of transport network in Mundemba
The importance of transportation infrastructure to economic growth has been recognized for a long time. (Francois ,1999). Transport is the means by which people and commodities are moved from one place to another by a number of physical modes including roads, water, railways, airlines and pipelines. So, transport in one basic and an essential part of daily rhythm of life throughout the inhabited world (Hoyle 2008).
In the world at large, road transport plays an important role in influencing human activities. The advancement in transportation in developed countries like Germany, France, Netherland and Sweden have made possible change in the way of living and the way in which the societies are organized. This has greatly influenced the development of their economic sector. James et al.,2006. For example, roads and railroads allowed the United States to expand from states hugging the coast of the Atlantic Ocean to all the land between the Atlantic and Pacific (Francois ,2005). In addition, transportation infrastructure has expanded the range over which goods can be marketed. Although there is very little empirical evidence to this effect, it is generally believed that the United State (U.S) government’s massive investment in transportation infrastructure development in the 19th century led to the significant growth registered by the country’s economy during that period (Gillen,1993).
In the developing world like Africa, and some parts of Asia and Latin America lacking in terms of road transport accessibility, this has been a major hindrance to economic development (Blenda ,2001). This is the case of many African countries where the transport sector is poorly developed in these areas with untarred roads in the rural areas and poor tarred roads in the urban areas or cities has been a major characteristic which affects economic activities especially farmer’s livelihood since it will cost farmers a lot to transport their agriculture produce to the market and agriculture is one of the main sources of economic activity in this region. Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO),1994. The mode of transport, carrying at least 80% of goods and 90% of people or passengers. About 53% of the roads are unpaved, isolating people from basic education, economic opportunities, health services, and transport corridors. Less than half of Africans rural population has access to all seasonal roads. The outdated infrastructure and limited maintenance have undermined the effectiveness of railways across Africa continent. In total, Africa counted 84,000 kilometers rail track, for a surface area of about 30 million square kilometers, most of it is found in Southern and Northern Africa. Road safety is also an issue, with road fatalities resulting in 238,000 deaths every year, it about one fifth of the total fatalities from road accident or road crashes worldwide. (FAO,1994).
In the case of Cameroon, the transport system is poorly developed with only about 10% of the roads are well constructed and tarred (investor au Cameroon, 2013). These 10% of the tarred roads linked mostly the major town of the country such as Yaounde, Douala, Buea, Maroua, Bertoua, Garoua, Bamenda and Bafoussam (investir au Cameroon, 2013). Most of the roads in the rural areas are untarred with the case of rural areas feeding the urban areas with their raw materials and food items. They have poor accessibility which turns to affect farmer’s livelihood such as low productivity, education, access to market, no capital, agricultural practices that support a more sustainable future and investing to strengthen agricultural communities. Farm produce from rural cannot be transported to urban markets on time due to unreliable ready markets and poor road in rural areas (Cargil, 2008). This is the case of the south west region of Cameroon where majority of the road are poorly and or not tarred. Only about four major towns in this region have tarred road and divisional headquarters like: Buea, Kumba, Limbe and Mamfe. This poor connectivity makes accessibility into the region very poor. This poor accessibility has directly affected the economic development of the country. (Victor et al,2013)
In rural setting, road transport is important in the transfer of people or persons, goods and other resources from the farm to the market and such organization is the ideal for local productivity improving livelihood opportunities of local farmer. Generally, rural areas serve as the base for the production of food and fibre, the major sources of capital formation for a country, and a principal market for domestic manufactures (Olayiwola and Adeleye, 2005). In general terms, the rural areas engage in primary activities which form the foundation for any economic development. Despite this level of contribution to economic development, rural areas have been neglected in terms of development which has made it non- attractive to live in and also increase poverty level in the rural areas. This is justified by the high correlation that exists between rural living and poverty with this situation particularly exacerbated in developing countries (World Bank, 1994). Sustainable rural development is a function of a number of factors in which transportation is of importance. Efficient and effective rural transportation serves as one of the channels for the collection and exchange of goods and services, movement of people, dissemination of information and the promotion of rural economy. Along this line, Owen (1968) stated that “Immobility perpetrates poverty”, effective transportation eases accessibility to inherent potentials of rural areas which could be harnessed for the development of its economy. In other words, rural transportation provision forms an intrinsic part of rural development strategies, serving as a mechanism and catalyst for rural transformation through the reinforcement of rural development and contributes to poverty reduction by enhancing both equity and efficiency outcomes. This is the Case in the Mundemba sub-division which is characterized by bad roads linking the town to its neighboring villages and other town and also the water ways are less functional due to the socio-political crisis in the area (Mundemba council l, 20018). This has resulted to low productivity, low capital, education and low standard of living. The road transport challenges such as access to the markets in this locality greatly affects business people and farmers livelihood in many ways. It is for this reason that this study is out to possibly find out the impact of transport network on economic development in Mundemba.
1.2 Problem Statement
Transport infrastructure is one of the main grounds for economic development in an area as it the key to the level of growth in many big cities in the world.
In reverse, areas with poor road network have a lot of setbacks as well as development is concern as goods and services will have to take time to get to their final destination and also most will get perish. This is similar to the case of Mundemba regardless of the fact that this area serves as the base for the production of food and cocoa, the major sources of capital formation for the subdivision, and a principal market for domestic manufactures (Olayiwola and Adeleye, 2005)., Majority of road in the municipality are earth road which are usually inaccessible during the peak of the rainy season. In the villages, the main cause of poor state of roads is poor drainage. There is very little or no maintenance of majority of the roads and as a result their agricultural products cannot be transported for better market.
Also, the anglophone crisis that has led to the closure of the few good roads leading to the area, the airline and even the water way, goods and services cannot easily get to their destination. Poverty in in this area is characterized by lack of access to social services such as; health, education and many more due to inadequate rural infrastructure in the form of road infrastructure and public transport which contributes to communication relate problems. the lack of both public transport and roads infrastructure in the rural area limits the access of the rural poor to most services including house services and market (for agriculture produce), a large of the country is rural and inaccessible because roads are in a poor condition especially during the rainy season. Besides the adequate provision of resources and capacity, rural roads management is one of the serious problems facing the area (government of Cameroon, 2004). It is on this background that this study seeks to examine the impact of transport network on economic development in Mundemba.
1.3.1 Main Research Question
What is the impact of transport network on economic development in Mundemba?
1.3.2 Specific Research Questions
what are the different transport networks in Mundemba?
what is the status of the various transport network in Mundemba?
What are the diferent transport network challenges in Mundemba?
What are the propose solution of road transport challenges in Mundemba?
1.4.1 Main Objective
To access the impact of transport network on economic development in Mundemba
1.4.2 Specific Objectives
- To analyze the different transport networks in Mundemba
- To describe the status of the various transport network in Mundemba
- To investigate the transport network challenges in Mundemba
- To propose solutions to the road transport challenges in Mundemba