"Mon niveau de pauvreté est plus accrue en raison du manque de transport"
"My poverty and that of others here in the village is much greater because there's a lack of transport." Maria echoes the feelings of many narrators in Mabalane as she makes the connection between inadequate infrastructure and poverty. Trading opportunities, education and health care are all hard to access: "Even when we have something to sell there, we suffer… We have to walk for 15 kilometres just to reach Mabalane town… Pregnant women walk to Mabalane to give birth…"
The situation is worse in the rainy season, when roads deteriorate and the Limpopo River rises to dangerous levels. And, as Rafael points out, it is then that diseases tend to proliferate: "The most dangerous thing is that [cholera] has always appeared during the rainy season, and it is then that the river is in spate and boats cannot cross".
These quotes are extracted from the latest oral testimonies published by Panos London's Illuminating Voices Series. These testimonies have been gathered from two communities in Mozambique. They illustrate that despite seeing themselves as better off than during the country's 20-year civil war, people feel they are still in a battle, but this time against poverty.
Read more extracts highlighting issues of access and mobility and rural infrastructure here:
Read oral testimonies relating to access, mobility and rural infrastructure from other countries featured in the Panos London Illuminating Voices Series here:
Regional West and Central Africa
Regional Latin America
Regional East and South Africa MDGs
Safety and Security
Mobility as a Human Right