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THE RELEVANCE OF ROAD TO LIFE AND IT'S ACTIVITIES

Format: MS WORD  |  Chapter: 1-5  |  Pages: 65  |  876 Users found this project useful  |  Price NGN3,000

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CHAPTER ONE

 

INTRODUCTION

 

1.0  Background to the problem

 

Road infrastructure is one of the key components of economic development. Without good road development movement in an economy is critically impeded resulting to curtailing of the ferrying process of produce and other goods to the market, which in turn leads to transport bottlenecks that invariably hamper economic development. Roads have significant impacts on both nearby communities and the natural environment (World Bank, 2011). Burnett (2001) points out that there are numerous benefits to having proper road networks especially in the range of social and economic benefits while to a certain extent environmental benefits.

 

In as much as new roads bring development to previously underdeveloped areas, sometimes this development can cause significant effects on sensitive environments and the lifestyles of the people living near or using the road. The Construction of roads has particular environmental impacts: erosion, traffic, noise, water pollution and work practices which need to be managed by road contractors (World Bank, 2011).

 

Environmental effects of roads may include spatial and temporal dimensions and biotic and abiotic components. Effects can be local (along a road segment) or extensive (related to a large road network). Spatial effects of roads vary because species habitat requirements and ecosystem characteristics are diverse. Road construction may negatively affect species, habitats and physical and chemical characteristics at the site and landscape levels. Road effects could have direct and indirect impacts. There are those common during construction, those along a newly completed road, and those with long- term impacts (Diagle, 2010).

 

The social impacts on the other hand and their distributional effects across various segments of society have traditionally been viewed as secondary or even tertiary concerns relative to economic and environmental impacts (Markovich and Lucas, 2011). While social economic impact assessment tends to focus on the avoidance of adverse social impacts, the assessment also provides a forum for planning how to maximize the beneficial impacts of a proposed development. Beneficial impacts can include: a better standard of living due to increased access to employment, business opportunities, training and education, greater access to and from a community and increased funding to improve programs.

 

On the economic impact Tsunkawa and Hoban (1997) note that the building of new roads, rehabilitating of existing roads and upgrading of road infrastructure all involve the use of economic resources which has to be taken in consideration when planning and making decisions on development of roads. McKinnon and Woodburn (1993a) show that the clear implications of these developments are accompanied by various economic activities providing local employment and a source of employment in these sectors.

 

It is however expected in general that road development projects must be economically viable, socially acceptable and environmentally sound. Structured assessments of road developments can therefore help resource and land managers identify road-related benefits, problems, environmental risks, economic and social opportunities and trade-offs among possible management actions.

1.1 Statement of the problem

 

Development of transport facilities like road infrastructure, can play a significant role in changing the socio-economic conditions of the people of a region through dynamic externalities that such development often generates (Sengupta, Coondoo and Rout, 2007). It can in fact be an important element of both direct and indirect interventions for poverty reduction and improvement of socio-economic conditions of the people. In addition, large amounts of money are allocated to the national and local authority roads programmes with a general view that economic development as well as social and environmental gains are stimulated by new and expanded roads.

 

However, road construction for socio-economic and environmental development purposes has not been evaluated extensively against a number of policy alternatives that are more likely to advance the same objectives (Whitelegg, 1994). The ultimate aim of developmental activities, including those relating to transport infrastructure, is to promote societal welfare. However, due to the existing pattern of socio-economic structure, geo- political and historical features etc., the benefits of such developments are often not shared equitably and a variety of distributional inequalities show up at all levels-local, regional, or national (ibid).

 

1.2  Research questions

 

1. What are the socio-economic activities that have come up as a result of Abuja kaduna road?

 

2. Which environmental problems are associated with Abuja kaduna road?

 

3. What are the other opportunities for investment along Abuja kaduna road?

 

1.3  Research objectives

 

The general objective of the study is to investigate the relevance of road to life and its activities. The study is further guided by the following specific objectives:

 

1. To assess the socio-economic activities that have come up as a result of Abuja kaduna road.

 

2. To examine environmental problems associated with Abuja kaduna road.

 

3. To explore other opportunities for investment along Abuja kaduna road.

 

4. To prepare an action plan for the enhancement of socio-economic activities along Abuja kaduna road.

 

1.4  Significance of the study

 

The study is significant to the Nigeria National Highways Authority which is charged with the development of the road system in Nigeria in identifying the implication of the developments that have been made so far on the Abuja kaduna road and this information can be used to come up with better policies and plans that will ensure that benefits are fully realized and negative effects of the road developments in Nigeria’s future are minimized.

 

1.5 Operational terms

 

Infrastructure - Facilities and services needed to sustain industry, residential, commercial, retail, and all other land use activities. This can be divided into transport infrastructure, telecommunications infrastructure and information society, energy infrastructures, spatial planning and rehabilitation, social and public health infrastructure.

 

Impact – An intended or unintended consequence of policies, programs, services or products, which is either positive or negative.

 

Social impact - involves positive and negative changes in peoples' cultural traditions and lifestyles, their physical and psychological health, their families, their institutions and their community.

 

Economic impact - the effect of an event on the economy in a specified area, measured in changes in business revenue, business profits, personal wages, and/or jobs.

 

Environmental impact - effects upon the environment, both temporary and permanent, of a significant development or project.

 

Action Plan – A sequence of steps that must be taken, or activities that must be performed well, for a strategy to succeed

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