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Title: Diamond mining settlements in central Kono District, Sierra Leone
Author: King, David Clive
Awarding Body: SOAS University of London
Current Institution: SOAS, University of London
Date of Award: 1979
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Central Kono District in the Eastern part of Sierra Leone, West Africa, experienced a series of diamond rushes between 1950 and the mid-1970's. By 1975 the diamond deposits were becoming exhausted and further rapid increases in mining activity seemed unlikely. As a result of these diamond rushes the population and settlement geography of central Kono District was radically changed. A distinct hierarchy of settlements and a network of communications developed. Urbanisation was a phenomenon new to Kono District, but by the 1970's central Kono was the largest urban area in Sierra Leone outside the capital, and its principal town, Koidu, had become the second largest town in the country. New urban forms were introduced and new patterns of settlements resulted, influenced by the distribution of diamond mining areas. The population of central Kono, and especially of the towns, changed with widespread immigration from the rest of Sierra Leone and from surrounding countries. The population diversified ethnically, culturally and occupationally. New functions and facilities to serve the larger and wealthier population developed, especially in Koidu. With the decline in diamond mining, some people have already left the area, and more may leave in the future, but it is expected that many people will remain in the area and especially in Koidu. Some step migration is likely to occur up the hierarchy of settlements. The larger settlements, especially Koidu, have already become major commercial centres. This study describes, both temporally and spatially, the mining settlements and their relationships with immigration; the ethnicity and occupations of the immigrants; household structures; and the forms and functions of the settlements.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral