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Title: Coming down the mountain : history of land use change in Kilimanjaro, ca. 1920 to 2000s
Author: Chuhila, Maximillian Julius
ISNI:       0000 0004 6062 0658
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2016
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Studies on land use change have attracted relatively less attention from historians compared to other disciplines like human geography and anthropology. A history of land use change in Kilimanjaro is a study of how different actors interacted and shaped the whole process of land use on the slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro between 1920s and 2000s. It shows that land use change involved a myriad of complex interrelations that cut across a number of actors. The actors were government policies and plans, uses of a particular land, the social, economic and political construction and affiliation to a landscape. This study uses the slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro to show how the Chagga have interacted with the challenges of population increase and market economy that had impact on land availability and use. It argues that while government plans were vital in determining land use, they were not enough to give directions towards particular forms and styles of land uses, it remained to be negotiated with other factors just mentioned above. Also the study shows that it is not always the case that only population pressure and economic motives influence the way people interact with their environment but a combination of population pressure, economic motives and social cultural motives. By using documentary sources, oral histories and contemporary sources such as satellite imagery reading and interpretation, this study concludes that access to land use was diverse and varied across and within similar environments in the whole period of study from 1920s to 2000s. The variation resulted from the nature of the societies themselves, their environments and how authorities tended to regulate access and use. The thesis shows near the end that adaptation and resilience to both social-cultural, economic motives and pressures of societies moving from one area to another with somehow different characteristics was entwined in the challenges of struggling to re-establish in new environments and the social-cultural connections to land and resources. It was easier for the Chagga to maintain strong cultural ties with the highland but not to transfer knowledge and skills of highland cultivation, food habit and livestock domestication to the lowland. The reasons behind this were based on the presence of some relatives, social-cultural values and properties in terms of banana fields and houses on the highlands that could not be moved to the lowlands. The question of what type of economic activities and social interactions were to be established on the lowlands was determined by the suitability of the lowland and not necessarily the skills from the highland. For instance, cultivation of perennial crops could not be possible because the lowlands received seasonal rainfall and had no access to reliable irrigation furrows like the highlands.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: DT Africa ; HD Industries. Land use. Labor