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Farm Radio Weekly is a news and information service for rural radio broadcasters in sub-Saharan Africa. It is published by Farm Radio International.

Farm Radio Weekly

Notes to broadcasters on repairing rural roads:

In rural areas throughout Africa, poor roads can prevent farmers from accessing markets to sell their goods. Some communities have long been isolated by a lack of roads. Others, such as the ones described in this week’s news story from the Republic of Congo, have recently been cut off by deteriorated roads or bridges.

This week’s story shows how farmers in some Congolese communities took matters into their own hands – deciding to fix road blockages themselves, or engaging local youth to work on the problem. Of course, more serious road problems may require more than local resources. It is a promising sign that external financing has been secured to correct some of these problems in the Republic of Congo, with the goal of improving farmers’ access to markets.

You may wish to produce one or more programs on rural roads in your area, and consider how the quality of roads affects the ability of farmers to access markets. Some questions to consider include:

-Are there rural communities in your listening area that have good access to markets via roads or other modesof transportation? Have the roads always been good? If not, who improved the roads? How are the roads maintained?
-Are there rural communities in your listening area that are isolated due to poor road conditions or a lack of roads? Have the roads always been in poor condition, or have they been damaged or deteriorated in recent years?
-Are poor roads preventing farmers in your area from accessing markets? How do farmers cope with this situation?
-Do these isolated communities face other problems as a result of poor road conditions (for example, problems accessing health care or essential goods)? How do they cope with these problems?
-What are communities affected by poor road conditions doing to improve their roads or gain access to good transportation? Do they have plans to correct the problem as a community or make efforts to access external funding?

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