BETTER roads and affordable transport need to be made available to people living in rural villages, says American NGO Rise beyond the Reef executive director Janet Lotawa.
The NGO conducted a survey for Yakete District in Ba earlier this year in which studies showed some people spent up to 90 per cent of their monthly household income on transport.
"We have identified the need for ongoing road maintenance to ensure roads are accessible," she said.
"Villagers rely on mainly their horses for transportation between villages.
"To offset the cost of transporting crops to market by hired carrier, they ride their horses with their crops to low-lying villages.
"Then they travel either by bus to the market or share the costs of a carrier with one or two others who are market-bound.
"The alternative options to hiring a carrier greatly limit the amount of crops they can transport and sell," she added.
Mrs Lotawa said the NGO was working with the Commissioner Western on the prioritisation of the maintenance of roads throughout the district.
"We are also establishing communal transportation systems for students and crop export. We hope to open the critical market access road between Yaloku and Navilawa villages."