The construction of physical infrastructure is contributory for poverty alleviation in every country. The road is one of the major components which is very significant in Ethiopia due to lack of highly developed infrastructure, particularly in the rural road sector. Selection of the appropriate road construction and maintenance methods such as labor-based method or machine-based method is necessary to be financially viable. Most rural road construction projects usually suffer from the problem of selecting the appropriate technology for the proposed project and implementation of the chosen technology. In Ethiopia, Universal Rural Road Access Program (URRAP) is an employment-intensive program for employment purpose as a first step, out of poverty using labor-based road construction. However, there are problems, constraints, and challenges encountered when implementing labor-based method leading to enforce the mobilization of machines. The aim of this research study is to carry out the comparative analysis of ongoing and finished rural road projects in Jimma Zone and to establish a qualitative and quantitative merit of various technologies used in rural road construction and maintenance. Results showed from financial cost comparison, the labor based method was 47% cheaper than a machine-based method to carry out the same tasks. On the other hand, the share of unskilled average direct labor cost comprised of an astounding 65% more of the total direct cost of a labor-based method. Also, labor-based method directly employed 300 unskilled laborers per workday for a month to complete 1.0 km section of a rural road.
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