International Development Planning Review

Alleviating poverty with labour-based road maintenance in the semi-arid environment of the Kgalagadi District of Botswana: Impacts and constraints

International Development Planning Review (2011), 33, (1), 67–80.

Abstract

Labour-based road maintenance has been used in many African countries to alleviate poverty in, and improve communication with, isolated communities. In Southern Africa, the Kgalagadi region, extending across parts of South Africa, Botswana and Namibia, has been a planning and development challenge to all three countries in this regard. One of the many efforts to promote development and alleviate poverty in the Botswana part of the region is a programme to introduce labour-based road maintenance to create employment. This article uses a case study to identify and discuss the socio-economic impacts of this effort. A questionnaire and rapid rural appraisal were used to collect data which were analysed using frequencies to reveal the impacts. The results show that the local people thought that the programme had made significant contributions to their incomes. However, very low wages discourage would-be labourers, reducing the potential impact. Poor implementation also makes road gangs inefficient, making it difficult to justify wage increases.

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Author details

Archer, Ebenezer Kobina

Nkambwe, Musisi