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The purpose of this presentation is to define the role rural areas and country towns play
in the persistence of, or often times regrettably, the dissolution of local character and
place. The observations contained in this presentation apply to most types of rural
areas in many different locales. The central argument of this work is that wherever
viable rural settlements exist, the government, professional planners, and inhabitants
within must focus their energies on the immediate place - they must make the word
"local" mean something if we are ever to be successful in the retention and sustenance
of "local community." A rural development doctrine must, if it is to be effective, give
deeper and more concentrated thought to the role of local rural place as we seek to
find solutions to the ongoing problems of population imbalance and the dissolution of
the countryside.
Because these two assumptions are decidedly "counter cultural," they will appear to
many as impractical [Theobold, 1997]. "All of us know," for example, that people prefer
to live in cities because there are more opportunities, services, and great personal
fulfillment. "Everyone knows" that successful business and economic development must
stay focused on metropolitan locations to maximize transportation and labor costs.
"Everyone knows" that many of our small towns and villages are in distress and that
even though the unsettling of the countryside may be a national tragedy, it amounts to
no more than a natural process that will continue to occur over the next century.
Definition of Rural development
Rural development can be defined as, helping rural people set the priorities in their own
communities through effective and democratic bodies, by providing the local capacity;
investment in basic infrastructure and social services, justice, equity and security,
dealing with the injustices of the past and ensuring safety and security of the rural
population, especially that of women.
According to Robert chambers, rural development is a strategy to enable a specific
group of people, poor rural women and men, to gain for themselves, and their children
more of what they want and need. It involves helping the poorest among those who
seek a livelihood in the rural areas to demand and control more of the benefits of rural
development. The group includes small scale farmers, tenants and the landless.

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demand is very high.Challenges and Opportunities The Ministry of Environment and Rural Development is the public body responsible for environmental protection. and prices are rising all the time. It is a major cause of deforestation and environmental degradation across the country.000 households consuming about 9. On the other hand.000 or about US$8. 44. Somaliland must address include: luding forests. Each sack weighs 15-20 Kg. and sustainable rural development. natural resource conservation. 735. These are challenging aims to achieve. rangelands. and fisheries the extinction of indigenous plants and animals Page 2 of 6 . if not main environmental challenge facing Somaliland today. and does not need much of an initial investment. it is an important provider of employment and income in rural areas. On one hand. Other environmental challenges. Charcoal production is both supply and demand driven. Environment: Charcoal production stands out as one of the main.000 in Hargeisa alone. Assuming an average tree produces 150Kg(7-10 bags) of charcoal. Almost every family in urban and even rural settlements relies on charcoal as a source of energy for cooking. A common spectacle as you travel from Hargeisa to Berbera is the piles of sacks of charcoal that line up the road. A sack or a bag of charcoal costs Slsh. there are about 150-200. In Hargeisa.188 tons of charcoal a month or around 110. Charcoal trade is a big business. which means sales of US$50.000 trees are cut every year to satisfy current demand for charcoal in Hargeisa.000 tons a year.400. An average household consumes about 3 sacks a month.

educational attainment. clean water. sanitation facilities and electricity.settlements and villages ater contamination Rural Development: About 2/3 of Somaliland’s population live in rural setting – villagers. quality of housing. life expectancy at birth. The development aspiration of Somaliland as a nation will remain just an unfulfilled dream unless a way is found for raising the standard of living of the rural community. This is the least developed group of the population in terms of standard of living. The majority or over 1/2 consists of pastoralist nomads. access to health services. pastoralists and agro-pastoralists. The challenges in the way of rural development are many and include: Page 3 of 6 .

decisive measures are urgently required to be taken.Shrinking communal pasture land maternal mortality Priorities and Strategies Given these severe challenges facing the natural environment of Somaliland and the rural population. coal. Towards that end. solar and wind ontrol resource utilization Page 4 of 6 . the following key areas will receive priority attention in this NDP period: alternative sources of fuel and energy. such as gas.

-based State of the Environment report to assess the status of natural resources and to guide future resource management and development decisions sustainable use of natural resources isaster preparedness and management s ment of appropriate education and health service infra-structures m on environment and rural development Page 5 of 6 .

as Galston suggests. and adequate water/wastewater facilities. and the viability of most of our rural areas hangs in the balance. The question in the next century is whether access to information management through digitalization and fiber optics will be similarly defined as elements of social citizenship. 266] Page 6 of 6 . Since the 1940s many countries have made the political determination that all citizens. Individuals who are devoted to continuity of place.especially if rural areas are expected to decouple from metros. rural residents will both resent and regret these changes. efforts to rejuvenate the rural countryside must rest on genuine local preferences. Every way of life requires some economic basis. Underlying these preferences is some understanding of what rural individuals. who want a sustainable base for the generations who follow. but they cannot be avoided. "To be successful. considered simply as citizens of a country. were entitled to electricity. The question is on the table. but a commitment to preserving atotal way of life in the face of profound economic and social change cannot hope to succeed.Conclusions Throughout this paper I have suggested that change is the price of the rejuvenation of the countryside and the survival of small towns. The real choice. Some." [Galston. schools. decent roads. will be between decline and forms of innovation that will leave neither individual lives nor the structure of social relations unchanged. must therefore accept some degree of discontinuities of economic and social life. In most cases. p. are thought to deserve. perhaps many. adequate levels of employment and income cannot be expected from traditional sectors . regardless of place.