Community happen, it requires both a conscious and a
Community development is asset creation that improves the
quality of life of residents of low and moderate-income neighborhoods (Ferguson
& Dickens, 1999). It helps to build community capacity in order to
address issues and take advantage of opportunities, find common ground and
balance competing interests. Community does not just happen, it requires both a
conscious and a conscientious effort to do something (or many things) to
improve the community.
development process takes charge of the conditions and factors that influence a
community and changes the quality of life of its members. It is a tool for
managing change but it is not a short-term response to a specific issue within
a community, a process that seeks to exclude community members from
participating or an initiative that occurs in isolation from other related community
activities. However, one of the primary challenges of community development is
to balance the need for long term solutions with the day-to-day realities that
require immediate decision making and short term action. This is attributed to
many factors some of which have mentioned below.
Apart from factors such as
homelessness, ecological issues, poor administration and inadequate community
development initiatives, poverty is also one of the challenges responsible for
the current issues threatening the development of sustainable communities.
Sustainable rural community development is essential for eradicating poverty
since global poverty is overwhelmingly in rural areas. According to the United
Nations (2005) the number of poor people living in rural areas is greater than
those in urban areas and that poverty is still more prevalent in rural areas.
The Rural Development Framework (1997)
defines rural areas as: The sparsely populated areas in which people farm or
depend on natural resources, including the villages and small towns that are dispersed
through these areas. Rural economies are not sufficiently vibrant to provide
the people with jobs and the cost of living is especially high (ref). The
community is usually characterized by poverty and subsistence
farming as such that it cannot cope up with many problems.
of the basic need of human being is food. People grow food for their families
however they do not harvest high yields due to land and lack of use of modern
technologies as a result they do not have enough food to take them through to
another harvesting period. Due to food shortage, people look for alternative
sources of finding food. For example, they engage themselves in cutting and
selling trees to buy basic items. Much as they solve immediate problems in the
process they create long term problems of deforestation which has impacts on
small scale farmers in relation to climate change.
people are faced with problems, government and organizations come in to rescue
the community from the problems. For example, when the community is hit by
hunger, organizations bring relief food items to help them only during a short
period which is not sustainable in the long run. Therefore, long term solutions
to end hunger should be encouraged.
would appear that the community development sector has come to depend on public
funds. This is also potentially difficult. There is an inherent antagonism in a
situation where the state gives resources to organisations whose stated
objectives is to change the state, even though such provision is also a crucial
statement of the state’s willingness to be criticised and to hear the voice of
those who experience poverty and exclusion. Considerable skills and resources
are needed to use this contrasting position to good effect (Lee 2006).
government has been using a top down approach to implement projects without
creating an enabling environment for active involvement and participation of
community. This has led to overdependence syndrome where community members rely
on outside help which makes them fail to make their own decisions on long-term
changes hence poverty continues.
is concluded that a sustainable community is one in which the residents meet
their needs while making effective use of natural resources, enhancing the
environment, achieving social cohesion and strengthening their economic
prosperity in such a manner that the needs of future generations will be met. Therefore
government and non-governmental organizations should not only develop the
communities but also help them communities to become self-reliant.