Impacts of Rural Physical Infrastructural Expansion on the Livelihood Situation of Rural People: The Case of Machakel Woreda, East Gojjam Zone

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Date

2013-11

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Addis Ababa University

Abstract

The aim of this study ;s to analyze (he im/xICb' of physical rural ilifrastructural expansion on the livelihood contexts of rllral people wilh por/ieu/ar reference 10 rural people of Mac/Ulkel Woreda, ElIsl Gojjam zone of AmhoT(l regional stale. The study employed bOlh ql/ll/illltive and quantilalive research approaches. Different loa's of daw col/eelion were lri(mgu/ated. Results of the sllldy lIrc there/ore: based on in-deplh household and key informant interviews, focus group disclissions. field ohservalions lind household survey. So as 10 broadly analyze lhe issue under study, related literatures have been critically reviewed and !)lIS[(linable rura/livelihoods approach as an analylicallool has been lIsed The study show~' thai fhe government expansion of physical infrastructures in to rural area.~ has enabled rural people diversffy their income sources through engagement in variety of livelihood activities. People have created new livelihood activities helped by newly expanded physical infrllstructures. Rural peoples' access to livelihood assets in the study area was found to have been improved (md people acquired several kinds of assets Fam the time of physical infrastrucl/lral eXlxmsion onwards. 711e slUdy also found Ihat physical infrastructural expansion contributed a lot in the redllclion of poverty in rural areas in a number of ways. I) Rural people are able to widen Iheir income sources thereby gelling betler income. As people engaged in new income generating activities, they could eam good incomes which enabled Ihem satisfy Iheir basic needs. save cash money and reserve in kind, pursue further livelihood aclivities. cover cosls of services (such as hea1lh expemes), and so on. 2) Physical infrastruclllres also contributed 10 the health status of rural people. Pure drink water and rural roads as pre· requisites for health posts are essential for healthy and productive rllral man power. 3) Physical infrastructures are also imporlOnt jor raised awareness and good educational profile ofrllral people in the study area. The study idenlified both negative and positive impacts of physical infrastrllclural expansion on the social life of the people in the rural area. These impacls were on social networks and institutions, on the relationship among rllral people themselves and on the relationship between rural people and surrounding urban residents. For instance, the unbalanced distrib ution of physical inFaslructure across rural localities created inter and intra.kebele di~placemenls, that in tlll"/1 affe,:ts peoples 'involvement in the social organizations of idir, iquib and mahiber. Rural people created and slrengthen their ties, though some others' relationship was disrupted during and after the expansion of infrastructure. The social relationship between rllral people of the study area and sUl'I'olllu/ing lIrban dwellers was also found to be facilitated.

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Keywords

Livelihood, diversification, poverty reduction, Machakelll'oreda, physical infrastructures, social impacts and rllral people

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