Prohibitive cost of essential services in rural communities Costly distribution services Prohibitive facilities costs
Heavily subsidized public providers often produce urban services inefficiently. They have little incentive to be cost-effective or to respond speedily to changing conditions. Heavy subsidies in urban infrastructure often fail to result in services accessible to the poor. For example the poorest members of urban society do not use the most expensive forms of transport, as in the case of the Calcutta metro which is not designed to serve the lowest income groups. The absence of infrastructures leaves most villages in developing nations without the essential services which have become necessary for effective participation in the realities of contemporary society. The cost of obtaining well-drilling equipment and large storage tanks is presently beyond the family income of many villagers, although houses may have water tanks to contain the rainwater. Few springs and wells are sufficiently close to be ready sources of water; villagers depend on rainwater when it is available or have to make long journeys for water. They are also far removed from adequate fire protection or water for firefighting. The distance from one house to another makes the possibility of electrical installation from a private utility company unaffordable for most village families. Public transportation is costly; fares are high because of fewer passengers and less freight; and high freight costs discourage industrial development.
The Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential is a collaboration between UIA and Mankind 2000, started in 1972. It is the result of an ambitious effort to collect and present information on the problems with which humanity is confronted, as well as the challenges such problems pose to concept formation, values and development strategies. Problems included are those identified in international periodicals but especially in the documents of some 60,000 international non-profit organizations, profiled in the Yearbook of International Organizations.
The Encyclopedia includes problems which such groups choose to perceive and act upon, whether or not their existence is denied by others claiming greater expertise. Indeed such claims and counter-claims figure in many of the problem descriptions in order to reflect the often paralyzing dynamics of international debate. In the light of the interdependence demonstrated among world problems in every sector, emphasis is placed on the need for approaches which are sufficiently complex to encompass the factions, conflicts and rival worldviews that undermine collective initiative towards a promising future.
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