Rural road(re)construction Transport and rural livelihoods in the conflict-affected and fragile state environment of South Kivu

Adriaan Ferf, Dorothea Hilhorst and Murhega Mashanda

Type: DRC, Research Reports

Country: DRC

Date: 23/04/2014

Full summary

Substantial international investment has gone into the rehabilitation of the road infrastructure in DRC, but little is known about the impact of road rehabilitation on the organisation of urban-rural transport or on rural people’s lives. This report is based on a survey among 1250 households in South Kivu, a review of the transport sector and qualitative community research.

The main findings are:

  1. The effects of road construction may be visible only in the long term. Roads appear to have a strong symbolic meaning and denote state building as well as a sense of development and dynamism.
  2. Rather than becoming a driver of the economy, poverty and governance conditions restrict the possibilities for enhancing transport by road construction.
  3. In post-conflict areas or weak states and recovering economies, more attention must be given to creating funds for road maintenance.
  4. Systematic attention must be paid to self-governance in the transport sector. Transport associations are strong and provide a high level of organisation of the sector and their role and impact needs to be understood.
  5. Little attention has been paid to developing governance for the transport sector, though large sums have been invested in road rehabilitation in post-conflict societies.

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