【词汇】雅思阅读常用词(030)- Makete Integrated Rural Transport Project

Cambridge 07 Test 2 – Passage 3: Makete Integrated Rural Transport Project

Section A

The disappointing results of many conventional road transport projects in Africa led some experts to rethink the strategy by which rural transport problems were to be tackled at the beginning of the 1980s. A request for help in improving the availability of transport within the remote Makete District of south- western Tanzania presented the opportunity to try a new approach.

The concept of ‘integrated rural transport’ was adopted in the task of examining the transport needs of the rural households in the district. The objective was to reduce the time and effort needed to obtain access to essential goods and services through an improved rural transport system. The underlying assumption was that the time saved would be used instead for activities that would improve the social and economic development of the communities. The Makete Integrated Rural Transport Project (MIRTP) started in 1985 with financial support from the Swiss Development Corporation and was co-ordinated with the help of the Tanzanian government.

Section B

When the project began, Makete District was virtually totally isolated during the rainy season. The regional road was in such bad shape that access to the main towns was impossible for about three months of the year. Road traffic was extremely rare within the district, and alternative means of transport were restricted to donkeys in the north of the district. People relied primarily on the paths, which were slippery and dangerous during the rains.

Before solutions could be proposed, the problems had to be understood. Little was known about the transport demands of the rural households, so Phase Ⅰ, between December 1985 and December 1987, focused on research. The socio-economic survey of more than 400 households in the district indicated that a household in Makete spent, on average, seven hours a day on transporting themselves and their goods, a figure which seemed extreme but which has also been obtained in surveys in other rural areas in Africa. Interesting facts regarding transport were found: 95% was on foot; 80% was within the locality; and 70% was related to the collection of water and firewood and travelling to grinding mills.

Section C

Having determined the main transport needs, possible solutions were identified which might reduce the time and burden. During Phase Ⅱ, from January to February 1991, a number of approaches were implemented in an effort to improve mobility and access to transport.

An improvement of the road network was considered necessary to ensure the import and export of goods to the district. These improvements were carried out using methods that were heavily dependent on labour. In addition to the improvement of roads, these methods provided training in the operation of a mechanical workshop and bus and truck services. However, the difference from the conventional approach was that this time consideration was given to local transport needs outside the road network.

Most goods were transported along the paths that provide short-cuts up and down the hillsides, but the paths were a real safety risk and made the journey on foot even more arduous. It made sense to improve the paths by building steps, handrails and footbridges.

It was uncommon to find means of transport that were more efficient than walking but less technologically advanced than motor vehicles. The use of bicycles was constrained by their high cost and the lack of available spare parts. Oxen were not used at all but donkeys were used by a few households in the northern part of the district. MIRTP focused on what would be most appropriate for the inhabitants of Makete in terms of what was available, how much they could afford and what they were willing to accept. After careful consideration, the project chose the promotion of donkeys – a donkey costs less than a bicycle- and the introduction of a locally manufacturable wheelbarrow.

Section D

At the end of Phase Ⅱ, it was clear that the selected approaches to Makete’s transport problems had had different degrees of success. Phase Ⅲ, from March 1991 to March 1993, focused on the refinement and institutionalisation of these activities.

The road improvements and accompanying maintenance system had helped make the district centre accessible throughout the year. Essential goods from outside the district had become more readily available at the market, and prices did not fluctuate as much as they had done before.

Paths and secondary roads were improved only at the request of communities who were willing to participate in construction and maintenance. However, the improved paths impressed the inhabitants, and requests for assistance greatly increased soon after only a few improvements had been completed.

The efforts to improve the efficiency of the existing transport services were not very successful because most of the motorised vehicles in the district broke down and there were no resources to repair them. Even the introduction of low-cost means of transport was difficult because of the general poverty of the district. The locally manufactured wheelbarrows were still too expensive for all but a few of the households. Modifications to the original design by local carpenters cut production time and costs. Other local carpenters have been trained in the new design so that they can respond to requests. Nevertheless, a locally produced wooden wheelbarrow which costs around 5000Tanzanian shillings (less than US$20) in Makete, and is about one quarter the cost of a metal wheelbarrow, is still too expensive for most people.

Donkeys, which were imported to the district, have become more common and contribute, in particular, to the transportation of crops and goods to market. Those who have bought donkeys are mainly from richer households but, with an increased supply through local breeding, donkeys should become more affordable. Meanwhile, local initiatives are promoting the renting out of the existing donkeys.

It should be noted, however, that a donkey, which at 20,000Tanzanian shillings costs less than a bicycle, is still an investment equal to an average household’s income over half a year. This clearly illustrates the need for supplementary measures if one wants to assist the rural poor.

Section E

It would have been easy to criticise the MIRTP for using in the early phases a‘top-down’ approach, in which decisions were made by experts and officials before being handed down to communities, but it was necessary to start the process from the level of the governmental authorities of the district. It would have been difficult to respond to the requests of villagers and other rural inhabitants without the support and understanding of district authorities.

Section F

Today, nobody in the district argues about the importance of improved paths and inexpensive means of transport. But this is the result of dedicated work over a long period, particularly from the officers in charge of community development. They played an essential role in raising awareness and interest among the rural communities.

The concept of integrated rural transport is now well established in Tanzania, where a major program of rural transport is just about to start. The experiences from Makete will help in this initiative, and Makete District will act as a reference for future work.

  • tackle 英 [‘tæk(ə)l] 美 [‘tækl] vt. 处理;抓住;固定;与…交涉

  • integrated 英 [‘ɪntɪgreɪtɪd] 美 [‘ɪntɪɡretɪd] adj. 综合的;完整的;互相协调的

  • rural 英 [‘rʊər(ə)l] 美 [‘rʊrəl] adj. 农村的,乡下的;田园的,有乡村风味的

  • essential 英 [ɪ’senʃ(ə)l] 美 [ɪ’sɛnʃl] adj. 基本的;必要的;本质的;精华的

  • assumption 英 [ə’sʌm(p)ʃ(ə)n] 美 [ə’sʌmpʃən] n. 假定;设想;担任;采取 

  • co-ordinate 英 [kəu’ɔ:dənit] 美 [kəu’ɔ:dənit] v. 使……协调

  • virtually 英 [ˈvəːtʃʊəli] 美 [ˈvɜrtʃuəli] adv. 事实上,几乎;实质上

  • implement 英 [‘ɪmplɪm(ə)nt] 美 [‘ɪmplɪmɛnt] vt. 实施,执行;实现,使生效

  • arduous 英 [‘ɑːdjʊəs] 美 [‘ɑrdʒuəs] adj. 努力的;费力的;险峻的

  • handrail 英 [‘hændreɪl] 美 [‘hændrel] n. 扶手;(楼梯等的)栏杆

  • constrain 英 [kən’streɪn] 美 [kən’stren] vt. 驱使;强迫;束缚

  • wheelbarrow 英 [‘wiːlbærəʊ] 美 [‘wilbæro] vt. 用于推车运送

  • refinement 英 [rɪ’faɪnm(ə)nt] 美 [rɪ’faɪnmənt] n. 精制;文雅;[化工][油气][冶] 提纯

  • institutionalisation n. 制度化

  • fluctuate 英 [‘flʌktʃʊeɪt; -tjʊ-] 美 [‘flʌktʃʊ’et] vi. 波动;涨落;动摇 vt. 使波动;使动摇

  • contribute 英 [kən’trɪbjuːt; ‘kɒntrɪbjuːt] 美 [kən’trɪbjut] vt. 贡献,出力;投稿;捐献 vi. 贡献,出力;投稿;捐献

  • initiative 英 [ɪ’nɪʃɪətɪv; -ʃə-] 美 [ɪ’nɪʃətɪv] n. 主动权;首创精神 adj. 主动的;自发的;起始的

  • illustrate 英 [‘ɪləstreɪt] 美 [‘ɪləstret] vi. 举例 vt. 阐明,举例说明;图解

参考译文

马科特乡村一体化交通项目

八十年代初,非洲许多常规道路运输项目令人失望的结果使得一些专家开始重新思考解决乡村交通问题的策略。恰逢坦桑尼亚西南部偏远的马科特地区要求帮助改善当地的交通状况,为试验新策略提供了机会。

在对当地农村家庭出行需求的调查中,一体化的农村交通运输理念被采纳了进来。这个理念的目标就是通过改普农村交通体系,使当地人能减少获取基本物资和服务所费的时间和精力。该理念的基本假设就是能把节省下来的时间用来开展能够促进当地社会和经济发腮的活动。马科特乡村一体化交通项目开始于1985年,由瑞士开发公司出资资助,坦桑尼亚政府负责协调工作。

项目刚开始的时候,雨季的马科特几乎完全与世隔绝。当地路况十分糟糕,通往主要城镇的道路一年中有三个月的时间都是无法通行的。地区内道路交通少得出奇,北部地区可选择的交通工具只有驴。居民主要靠步行,一下雨这些小路就泥泞不堪,十分危险。

在提出解决办法之前,先要了解问题所在。施工方对当地人的出行需求了解甚微,因此在工程的第一阶段(从1985年12月到1987年12月),他们集中精力进行调研。据对马科特地区400多个家庭进行的社会经济调查显示,平均每家每天要花上7个小时用于出行和运输物资。这组数据看起来很极端,但从非洲其他乡村得到的数据也是一样的。调查人员还发现了一些与交通相关的很有限的事情:当地95%的居民出门基本靠走,80%的居民活动范围只限于本地,70%的人出行是为了挑水砍柴和去磨坊。

确定了主要的交通需求,施工方制订了可行性解决方案,这将节省时间,减轻负担。在第二阶段(1991年1、2月间),为提高交通的灵活性和便利性,实施了许多方案。

改进地区的路网是保证货物进出口业务的必要条件,而这些改进措施严重依赖劳动力。除了改善路况,还提供机械车间方面的培训以及公共汽车和卡车服务。然而,与常规方法不同的是,这次除了公路网外,还考虑到了本地交通需求。

大多数物资是通过小路运输的,这些小路为上下山提供了捷径,但却需要冒着很大的生命危险,要是步行就更艰难了。所以,通过修建台阶、扶手和人行桥等来改善路况是有意义的。

要找到比步行更有效率、比机动车技术含量低的交通方式可不是件容易的事。由于价格昂贵又缺少可用的零配件,自行车的使朋受到了限制。当地人根本就不把牛当成交通工具,但在北部地区,有些居民把驴当成运输工具。马科特乡村一体化交通项目致力于找到最适合当地居民的交通工具,这种工具必须是现有的、居民们买得起义愿意接受的东西。经过仔细考虑,项目最终决定推广驴(在当地,驴子比自行车便宜)和一种当地生产的独轮车。

第二阶段结束的时候,显而易见,这些为马科特地区量身打造的解决办法都取得了不同程度的成功。第三阶段从1991年3月到1993年3月,致力于改进这些解决方法并使之制度化。

道路状况的改善以及配套的道路养护制度已经使得人们全年都可到达地区中心,也更容易在市场上买到来自外地的基本物资,价格也不像以前那样起伏不定。

只有愿意参与道路建设与养护的社区提出要求时,施工方才会去帮助他们改善小路和二级公路。然而,当地居民对改善后的路况很满意。因此,刚完成几项改进,就有更多人提出了协助请求。

由于当地大多数机动车发生故障时没有条件修理,所以提升现有交通服务效率的努力并不是很成功。由于当地人普遍没什么钱,甚至连推广低价交通工具也成了难题。除了少数家庭外,本地制造的独轮车对多数家庭来讲还是过于昂贵。当地木匠对初始设计的独轮车加以更改,降低了生产时间和成本。当地的另外一些木匠也接受新设计的培训,以满足人们的需求。然而,尽管当地生产的木质独轮车只要5000坦桑尼亚先令(不到20美元),仅相当于金属独轮车价钱的上分之一,但对于大多数当地居民来说还是太贵了。

引进的驴子反倒变得越来越受欢迎,在将农作物和物资运往市场方面大显身手。买驴的主要是当地稍微富裕一些的家庭,不过通过本地繁殖,驴的供应会有所增加,价钱也会更便宜。与此同时,当地正推广现有驴子的出租业务。

然而需要注意的是,一头驴要花费20,000坦桑尼亚先令,虽然比自行车便宜,但这笔投资仍相当于一个当地家庭半年多的收入。这很清楚地表明,要帮助贫困的乡地区,还需要其他的辅助措施。

由于项目初期采用了自上而下的办法,即没有传达给当地社区,专家和政府官员就作出了决定,因此,要批评马科特乡村一体化交通项目简直易如反掌,但是从当地政府层开始这一项目是很必要的。要是没有当地政府的支持和理解,当地村民和其他农村住户的需求就很难得到满足。

现在,当地没有人再争论改善道路状况及推广廉价交通工具的重要性了。这是长期倾力工作的结果,尤其是负责当地社区发展的政府官员的努力。他们在提高当地居民意识、调动他们积极性的过程中发挥了重要作用。

如今,一体化乡村交通这一理念在坦桑尼亚已经深入人心,另一个重要的乡村交通项目也即将在此开展,从马科特项目中所获得的经验将大有帮助,马科特地区也会为将来的项目提供很好的参考范例。

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