Project Case Study
On the road to rural reform in Nigeria
NIAF's work in rural communities helps them protect the roads from the ravages of climate change
The Nigeria Infrastructure Advisory Facility’s rural infrastructure projects, funded by Department for International Development (DFID) and implemented by Adam Smith International since 2009, concentrate on providing support to Nigerian state initiatives which help promote economic participation and the adoption of climate resilient technologies amongst those living in rural communities.
At present, these initiatives have largely come together through the road maintenance programme which NIAF supports. Nigeria has the largest road network in West Africa, but of its 194,000km of roads only 60,000km are paved and many of these have fallen into a state of disrepair, making them dangerous and inaccessible and acting as a deterrent to economic growth. NIAF is training residents of rural communities to maintain their road network using labour-based techniques. We support the Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme (SURE-P) which is currently funding payments of trainees, provision of hand tools and monitoring devices using biometric technology in the three pilot states of Anambra, Kano and Zamfara.
This exercise will be instrumental in rolling out a labour-based road maintenance programme across Nigeria over the next few years, resulting in better rural access, sustainable roads maintenance and improved livelihoods by facilitating investment by improving road links. The programme also results in skills transfer through training, building the capacity of workers in rural areas.
As part of NIAF’s work on climate change, there will also be an increasing emphasis on understanding the impact of changing weather patterns on existing rural infrastructure, and support for communities seeking to adopt climate resilient technologies.
NIAF won the British Expertise Development Project of the Year Award in 2011.
"We have had a letter from communities appreciating what we are doing. Passers-by feel happy with the work. Communities helped opening side drains. Cars can now pass where before only bikes could."
Delegate from Anambra State, SURE-P Conference