Service centre planning for rural development : A case study of Mwense District

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Shumba, Elie
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This study is meant to provide information about the local structure of service centers to facilitate effective planning for rural areas so as to improve them and the welfare of the rural dwellers. To foster development, it is important to identify the problems of the present distributive system of goods and services with a view to devising an effective system that will allow equitable distribution.To analyse the structure of service centers in Mwense and assess its usefulness,settlements have been ranked in order of importance and functional gaps identified on the basis of appropriate methodology. The study measured the settlement pattern of service centers and identified proper locational priorities for the deployment of services at the right places.It is noted that there is a significant correlation between centrality and population size of settlements and the distribution pattern identified with its implication on the location of service outlets on the basis of the application of central place theory. An attempt has also been made to identify settlements that are partially served or not served at all. The study has consequently identified that the present structure of central places may be inadequate for fostering development hence corrective suggestions have been made.This is on the understanding that due to limited funding, optimum use must be made of available funds to effectively benefit most people, hence the need for effective service center location to avoid the heavy expenditure incurred from uninformed planning and to avoid uncalled for duplication in the deployment of services. The expectation of this study is that it will draw attention of stakeholders to issues of rural development and also influence investment and future rural development policy.This is because such studies are critical since service centers serve as catalysts for spreading developmental innovation.
Rural Developement -- Mwense