Urbanization is imperative and appreciating the problem of urbanization is inescapable.
With rapidly growing urban population, there is an unprecedented increase in the size of
cities. Providing for the infrastructure needs of these cities is one of the biggest challenges
facing countries today, the problem being particularly acute in developing countries.
As urban population is growing faster than the economic absorptive capacity and
fiscal means of cities in most developing countries, governments at the federal level are
financially constrained. UN-Habitat (2008a) report on "State of the World Cities 2008/2009",
reveals that the rapid urban growth in the developing world is often associated with the ill
effects of urbanization: traffic congestion, poor air quality, crime, overcrowding, and slums.
High growth rates put pressure on city administrations to deliver infrastructure (road is the
essential and prominent among them).
The resources to confront the escalating problems of urban infrastructure provision
are increasingly scarce. In Ethiopia and most of the developing countries, urban
development is uncontrolled. According to UN-Habitat (2009) Guide to Municipal Finance, the development planning and control mechanism in the cities are either absent or so
ad-hoc, that the unplanned urban extensions are being added to each city without any
infrastructure. Service infrastructure tries to keep pace with the development resulting in a vicious
circle, which leads to perpetual scarcity and shortage. The World Bank (2004) report says that the construction and maintenance of roads
and other forms of transport system determine the economic success of cities and
countries. Therefore, Ethiopia can also pave the way for economic success by adequate provision
of urban roads and related infrastructure in its rapidly growing cities.
UN-Habitat (2008b) in Ethiopia Urban
Profile, stated that the development and
provision of social and economic infrastructure in Ethiopia is inadequate and the roads, solid
waste collection and water supply are often absent. Many urban centers are thus not able to
provide basic services to its inhabitants, hampering their socioeconomic development to escape poverty.