Letters

Benefits of good roads in Africa

Story Highlights
  • A new road located in a wrong place, such as one cutting through the heart of a forest can provoke an environmental disaster, especially in areas where illegal activities are common.

Dear Editor,
IN many ways research asserts, roads are like real estate. It’s about location, location, location.

A new road located in a wrong place, such as one cutting through the heart of a forest can provoke an environmental disaster, especially in areas where illegal activities are common.
But in areas well suited for farming and other business ventures where most natural forest has been cleared, a high quality road or improvement such us paving an existing dirt road can basically be beneficial.
In such areas good roads make it much easier to move crops to markets and import other products. This increase farm yields and profits and improves the livelihoods of rural residents.
And like a giant magnet, such roads tend to attract migrants away from vulnerable wilderness areas, contracting them in highly productive farming and business zones.
Look at Ring Road and Kasama Road in Lusaka, today you can find shopping malls and filling stations and other developments which were not there before.
One thing is clear, keeping roads out of surviving wilderness areas is by far the most practical and cost effective way to protect the crucial ecosystem.
In a world struggling to sustain nature while producing enough food for billions of new mouths, managing transport networking is the rubber meets the road.
ELIAS MALUPENGA,
Transport Director
Business and logistics Consultant
Monitoring and Evaluation Expert.

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