Ecology, Agriculture and Proletarianization : A study of the sinazongwe area in Gwembe Valley of the Southern Province of Zambia : 1900 to 1989
Haantobolo, Godfrey H. N.
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This dissertation is divided into three chapters. Chapter one examines the impact of colonial rule and capital penetration on ecology and agriculture in the Sinazongwe sub-district between 1900 and 1958. The chapter demonstrates how colonial policies like land alienation, the Inyoka tobacco ordinance of 1924 and the Kariba resettlement programme undermined agricultural development in our area of study. It shows how the impact of colonial policies on ecology worsened the problem of shortage of food which the Sinazongwe people had been experiencing in the previous century.The chapter further shows the defectiveness of the corrective measures the government used to solve the .problem of famine.Chapter two analyses the rationale behind the construction of Kariba Dam . It also examines the ecological impact of the creation of Kariba Dam after 1958. It specifically identifies the impact on ecology which the flooding of Lake Kariba had on the peoples Agricultural lands and the problem of soil erosion in the new areas. The chapter further looks at the process of resettling the people displaced by the flooding of Lake Kariba and the problem of land shortage as a result of population pressure.We will further demonstrate how the resettled people suffered a prolonged drought in the 1980's and discuss the impact of this drought on child mortality rate as a result of malnutrition.We will further examine the impact of tsetse fly on agricultural expansion and its effects on livestock. We will show that the tsetse control measures introduced after 1958 were so effective that the number of cattle increased in the Sinazongwe sub-district.However, this increase in the number of livestock resulted in a serious problem of soil erosion. In the period 1966 to 1989, the study will analyse the reasons which led to the opening of Nkandabwe and later Maamba coal mines in the Sinazongwe sub district. Here the study demonstrates the impact of coal production on human resettlement,the leaching of agricultural lands of the local people located beside the Kazinze river and the study also highlights the problem of water pollution associated with coal production. The chapter further examines the impact of the establishment of an irrigated commercial farm under the Gwembe Valley Development Company on human settlement and the impact of the use of poisonous insecticides and herbicides through aerial spraying of cotton and wheat on the environment of villages surrounding the farm. Chapter three analyses the impact of government policies on the creation of a proletariat among the local people in the sub district. It demonstrates how the traditional land tenure system and the colonial policy of land alienation limited the chances of the youngmen from acquiring land for agriculture.In addition to this, hut tax payments, drought, erosion and famine are high lighted as some of the factors which forced the able bodied men to go into wage employment in Southern Rhodesia, South Africa and Northern Rhodesia. Since some of these people went with their wives and families and worked for periods ranging between ten to twenty years, the research assumes that they became proletarianized. After 1964 a number of Sinazongwe youngmen got the opportunity to go through the formal educational institutions introduced by the government of Zambia. Some of them were employed as teachers, miners and doctors. Some of these are unionized positions whose trade unions were recognised by the government of Zambia. Therefore the research concludes that a number of people in the Sinazongwe sub district became proletarianized.