Highway Construction: Panacea for Mass Poverty Reduction

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A highway is a principal public or private road that links two or more cities, towns, villages and other places where people live or work together. A well-developed highway enhances connectivity between people, towns, communities and different places. The most possible effect of highway construction is its capability to increase economic benefits to national productivity and employment.

The notable advantage of highways is that they have the capacity to boost economic activities and to reduce poverty and the travel time to cities, villages, towns and different rural areas.

Although there is no gainsaying the fact that a huge number of people are living in abject poverty in most rural parts of the world, most especially in Asian and African countries, the notable factor for this high rate of poverty in these rural areas is due to the fact that a well-developed highway that links people to most rural areas is absent. Some even have poor roads that link people to the community such that during the rainy season they no longer become motorable, making it difficult if not impossible to access these communities or to carry out business activities there.

For instance, in the early months of this year I visited one of the rural areas of a state in my country. While visiting the place, I discovered there’s a point where the vehicle cannot move beyond; even the untarred road we plied to the place was not in good condition. Hence, the settlement is only accessible by motorcycle. However, in that rural area I discovered that there were different big farms owned by different farmers such as cocoa plantations, plantain plantations, orange plantations among others.

Since this location lacks a motorable road, it will be difficult if not impossible for the farmers to access the market place to sell their agricultural produce, likewise buyers cannot easily access the market place to buy the farm produce from the farmers. Hence, the harvested cash crops cannot be sold to get money and the major part of the crops get rotten, leading to labour waste and increase in the poverty level of the farmers. This among others is one of the ways in which lack of motorable road can affect the business activities of an area.

Truly speaking, industrial development and job creation often manifest as a result of quality of road transport in an environment. High quality road transport allows business activities to easily take place in a community.

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