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Dear Dr. Devarajan, I found your article very interesting and reasonable. In Japan, an innovative technology has been developed to construct rural road with Do-nou (Soil bags)at very low cost and has been applied successfully in Papua new Guinea, Philippines and Kenya. "Do-nou" means sand bags or soil bags in Japanese and villagers were invloved in constructing and maintaining roads with this technology in these coutries. This technology developed by Professor Makoto Kimura of Kyoto National University consists in placement of fine aggregates inside bags arranged usually in two layers one above the other. When filled-in bags are subjected to extraneous moving loads, tensile strength develops along the bags. This induces a sort of "membrane effect" enabling the bags to sustain higher loads. Locally available bags, such as for sugar, crop-seeds, or jute bags can be used for the consturaction. I belive that your bank should promote this kind of low cost technology for rural road in the world, which not only alleviate poverty, but also empower the rural community for maintaining their communication. Please refer to Professor Kimura`s web site. http://michibushinbito.ecnet.jp/eindex.html This is the non profit orgnization which he has established. His email address is: info@michibushinbito.ecnet.jp kind regards, Kazuo Inoue