chapter  VI
21 Pages

Self-Help and Rural Stratification: Who Wins and Who Loses?

WithBarbara P. Thomas

The building funds have been in an anomalous position vis-a-vis Harambee self-help. In many rural communities Harambee development exists in the interface between customs or mores and statutory law. If the community has approved a project, the Chief, Sub-Chief and/or Project Committee will act as if the force of the community, if not of the national law, is behind them. The use of community labor for purposes of providing unskilled labor for building programs has both benefits and costs for the individual while providing quite significant benefits for the community. Both cash contribution and labor contribution may be required from a household. Nature of the Labor Contribution to Self-Help Projects. Respondents, however, were not inclined to weigh immediate economic benefits against long-term social or economic returns on their cash or labor contributions to Harambee projects. In fact, the vast majority of respondents in the communities visited were eager to develop social services as well as economic opportunities within their area.