Some Problems of the Chagga on Kilimanjaro

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Swynnerton R. J. M.
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One of Africa's major problems economically, socially and politically is overcrowding in restricted areas of land grossly underpopulated as a whole. Provided it is not accompanied by its attendant evil of soil erosion, such overcrowding can for a time. Be met with advantage by the intensification of agricultural and animal husbandry, although these practices are better designed to raise the standard of living of a stable population than to maintain an expanding population at subsistence level. Movements of population to underdeveloped areas are, excluding traditional reasons, restricted by climate, soils, health, tsetse fly and water supplies. Mountain dwellers are particularly affected as the population expands more rapidly under the healthy climate; the good lands are rapidly occupied while the effects of cultivation and stock on the steep slopes soon reduce fertility through soil erosion. The descent to the plains of the surplus population, their only outlet, presents an unaccustomed struggle with disease, 'a harsher climate with uncertain food and .water supplies, the influence of tsetse fly on stock keeping, and changes, often for the worse, in soil conditions and nutrition. This account is designed to show how the problems affect one small community, the Chagga, living on the fertile slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro in the Moshi District of the Northern Province of Tanganyika.
East African Agricultural And Forestry Journal, XIV (No. 2), p. 117-132