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Rural Development – Food for Thought

by Phiwe Ndinisa
Phiwe Ndinisa
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on Jul 08 in Uncategorized 2 Comments

A multinational touring party embarked on a tour of a rural village in the heart of the Transkei. On route of their tour the group was appalled by the fact that the village had no running water, thus they all decided to provide the village with running water. The installation of running water was achieved and naturally this left the group as a whole with a sense of pride and fulfillment as a result of having positively contributed to the betterment and well being of the rural community.

Six months after the installation of the taps the women of the community unanimously decided to break the taps as they had observed that through the installation of the taps they did not spend as much time together. They no longer took the long journeys together down to the river to fetch water and in turn they no longer shared their stories, worries, happiness, grievances’, complaints, suggestions etc. with each other. This ultimately led to a breakdown in the spirits and unity of the women within the community.

A further six months after the damage to the taps the women of the community went about their lives in the manner that they best knew and which they were not willing to compromise now more than ever.

Food for thought:

How does the impact of the installation of the taps in the village relate to the traditional and or general approaches currently used in rural development?

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Phiwe Ndinisa

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Comments

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sally Tuesday, 10 July 2012 · Edit Reply

Yes, Phiwe, the top-down approach never works. Those who are driving development need to constantly remember who their client is and work with the community, not for. However, I am really in favour of women being released from the burden of fetching water and all the hours that that takes which has a negative impact on their further development and emancipation. Just all needs to be done the right way and with respect.
Sally

Guest
Brian Currin Tuesday, 10 July 2012 · Edit Reply

Phiwe that is an interesting story and interesting issues it raises. I can understand their loss - we are after all social creatures and need to communicate. Through urbanization and development we all lose some of our humanness and that is the sad truth. Can ways be found of striking a balance? If we could achieve that I think the world would be a more peaceful place.

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