Methods have been developed to appraise the demand for Intermediate Means of Transport (IMT) and Transport Services (TS) in rural areas of Sub Saharan Africa (SSA). The methods are based on measurable indicators to appraise “real” demand indicated by usage as distinct from “apparent” demand that would be obtained from questioning rural people. The latter tends to significantly overestimate actual demand. The method is based on data collected in case studies in 5 SSA countries – Malawi, Tanzania, Ghana, Zambia and Senegal – on the supply, ownership and usage of IMT. Transport services were significantly available in only one of the study areas, that in Malawi. Here data was collected on the supply and usage of transport services on three roads, one with high availability and two with medium availability of services. Data was also collected from a fourth road with a similar level of traffic but without transport services to investigate factors affecting supply. It was found that the primary factor influencing demand was the need to reduce time and effort to transport produce to market outlets. The most important secondary factor influencing demand was found to be the transport of harvested crops from the fields to the homestead. Other transport activities, such as collection of water and firewood, were not found to significantly influence demand but IMT might be used if available to the household and distances to the source were more than 2 to 3 km. The results from the 5 case studies also showed a clear trend on the affordability of IMT in terms of the months of income needed to purchase the IMT and the percentage ownership. Few of the IMT included in the studies had been purchased with credit. It is possible that wider availability of credit might raise the boundary lines because of increased affordability.
Finances & Economics