Picture by: Dylan Seedin, Rotaract Shutterbug Trainee
Despite the fact that the country has been engaged in a 3 decade long conflict that ended only recently, Sri Lanka has made significant economic and social progress over the past 30 years. Economic growth has been rapid. In the past three decades, the country has made significant progress in improving living conditions and access to basic services.
The great majority of the population lives in rural areas, though the country is rapidly urbanizing. Almost a quarter of Sri Lankans live below the poverty line. Four fifths of the country’s poor people live in the rural sector, and almost half of the poor rural population consists of small-scale farmers. They are concentrated in the Central, Uva, Sabaragamuwa and Southern provinces, where agricultural growth has been sluggish, as well as in areas affected by the conflict.
Most rural roads have originated and used as footpaths or cart tracks. Hence there is a need to redesign selected rural roads to cater to the developing needs of Sri Lanka and rehabilitate them to provide better connectivity to rural areas. Improved transport infrastructure will enhance communication facilities and improve economic and social standard of the people. The Government started the Maga Neguma program to widen and concrete rural roads which had earlier confined to the main road network.
However, the fundamental question is – with all these developments will the beauty surrounding these rural roads remain the same? This picture taken of a road leading to a rural village in Batticaloa is in the verge of changing in to a concrete road.