Ruralisation of Urban Areas: Reversing Development Essay
Things have changed. For many people in urban centers, adored towns have neither stagnated nor improved; they have gone backwards in a process authors of this paper choose to call realization of urban life. This phenomenon, which is explored in this paper, paints a gloom future n the sustainability of current urban models. Authors of this paper define realization as: The wholesale decay in the quality of life of people in urban areas to a level that their quality of life will be more akin to rural areas and sometimes inferior that of their rural counterparts.
Realization is evidenced by very poor urban social services, inadequate infrastructure and unsustainable livelihoods. Realization, which has taken place in some urban centers in Zanzibar, has increased the number of urban poor people, making them more vulnerable to death, disease, deprivation and unhappiness. There is therefore a demand for society to address this challenge, a process which, for scholars, starts with understanding the problem. 1. 5 Aim of the Study This investigation sought to reveal reverse development in urban areas with a focus on urban livelihoods, urban social services and urban social infrastructure.
Urban livelihoods refer to the way urban dwellers get income. Urban social services
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Poor infrastructure translates to poor services. On one hand, most Volvo. 2 | No. 7 | July 2013 www. Graph. Co. UK ASHRAMS | 16 social services are paid for. Residents should make money to pay for the services they need, in the process sustaining the infrastructure. 1. 6 Statement of the Problem In Zanzibar, most rural areas are expected to modernism and change their livelihoods, social services and infrastructure to conform to those found in urban areas. This process is expected to happen through the growth point model where nodes of geographical areas spearhead this aspect of modernization.
Thus once urbanites, an area is expected to keep improving to meet demand and current modern standards. However, as shall be portrayed in this study, urbanites areas in Zanzibar have been going through numerous difficulties resulting in some of them going backwards in terms of development. It is feared, if this trend continues, these urban zones shall be no better than rural areas. Human beings in rural areas will be living a far better quality of life compared to their counterparts in those De- urbanism areas. This metamorphosis in urban areas describes the process authors of this paper choose to call realization.
Utilizing a qualitative methodology summarized below, the researchers sought to understand the occurrence of this social problem. 2. STUDY METHODOLOGY Data analyses in this paper was obtained through observation, examination of existing documents and interviews with key informants. 2. Observation 2. 1. 1 Areas Observed Observation was done at eight urban sites in three different towns as follows: Town Chitchatting Hare Binaural Suburbs/Sites Seek, Zinged and SST Marry Member, Quadrant and City Centre Chippewa and City Centre Data was collected over a period of five months from January 2012 to May 2012.
The researchers entered each suburb taking notes for time ranging from one to three hours using an observation guide. 2. 1. 2 Demographic Profiles of Areas Observed Hare (known as Salisbury until 1982) is the capital city of Zanzibar with a population of 1 903 510 (Zanzibar Statistics, 2002). Hare was founded as a fort on 12 September 1890 by a group of military volunteer settlers (known as the Pioneer Column) led by Cecil John Rhodes. Hare got municipal status in 1897 and became a city in 1935. Hare’s oldest suburb is Member (originally named Hare) which was opened in 1907.
Member was originally designed for male workers who stayed in hostels. Quadrant is a high density suburb in Hare sharing borders with Casaba Rural District. Chitchatting, located about km from Hare, is a dormitory town (to Hare City which has industry and commerce) established in 1978 after three unships; SST Marry, Seek and Zinged were Joined in 1981 to become an urban municipality. According to the 2002 National Population Census, the town had 323 260 inhabitants. Chitchatting is the third largest and fastest growing urban centre in Zanzibar.
Binaural, located km outside Hare, is a mining (nickel, cobalt and gold) and farming town which is the provincial capital of Mishandled Central. The town was originally named Kimberly Reefs following a mine that operated there but changed to Binaural in 1913. In 2002, Binaural recorded a population of 38 001 during the national population census. Chippewa is one the oldest locations and most populated high density suburb in Binaural. Like in most developing nations, urban areas in Zanzibar have faced numerous challenges in their history. Rapid rural- urban migration after independence was witnessed.
Industry failed to cope with more labor on the market. Reluctantly, after failing to get formal employment, most residents turned to the informal sector. Besides unemployment, the other challenge includes lack of houses that resulted in squatters and shanty houses. In Zanzibar, all these challenges peaked in 2005 resulting in government embarking on an internationally condemned Operation Marinating or Restore Order which destroyed shacks, other illegal structures and informal businesses. Coupled with the collapse of the Zanzibar dollar, urban services kept deteriorating.
The deterioration has been costly: the cholera outbreak of 2008 killed over 400 000 people whilst government was in 2012 still struggling with a typhoid outbreak mainly in Hare and Binaural (WHO, 2012). The Urban Councils Act Chapter 29:1 5 gives municipalities the power to provide all urban services (Government of Zanzibar (1995)). However, from the capital Hare to the Volvo. | No. 7 | July 2013 www. Graph. Co. UK ASHRAMS | 18 water, insufficient housing, unemployment, pitiable livelihoods, poor sewer services, unreliable transport systems and management failures are some of the challenges urban people are facing today in Zanzibar. 2. 1. Sampling of Areas Areas selected for the study were determined as follows: Areas that had received wide media coverage in relation to fall in urban services. Chitchatting was receiving attention for gross fall in urban services which was being attributed to mismanagement and corruption. The council was reported to be in a standstill. Hare and Binaural were fighting the typhoid outbreak, itself a consequence of poor urban health infrastructure and services. Areas that were Judged convenient to the researchers. The researchers worked in Binaural and stayed in Hare and Chitchatting making all these towns expedient for undertaking the study.
Selected suburbs were either recommended by key informants or were publicly known to have fallen short in terms of urban services. There is indisputable social demand for authorities to intervene in suburbs like Member and parts of Chitchatting whose urban services have become sub-human. It was because of this that these areas were included in this study. 2. 2 Analysis of Existing Data Existing data was collected by researchers from newspapers, municipal reports, residents advocacy papers, radio and television news clips.
A guide based on thematic areas for data collection was developed and used to collect and record data collected from existing documents. 2. 3 Interviews with Key Informants Informal interviews were done with the City of Hare Director for Housing and Community Services, Binaural Town Housing and Community Services Manager and a Councilor from Chitchatting Town. It was difficult at the time to get an officer responsible for social services from Chitchatting Town since the Town was being run by a committee nominated by Government following the elected council’s failure to run the town.
ASHRAMS | 19 An interview guide was utilized for these interviews, although the interviews were largely informal. 2. 4 Data Recording Data was recorded in the form of notes which were later classified into major appropriate themes in preparation for analysis. A camera set aided recording. Data from observation, existing documents and interviews was all put into these themes. 3. 3. Features of Realization The research discovered that realization took several forms, but the main features from this study were: Urban areas going back to agriculture based livelihoods like crop farming and animal husbandry.
Residents of urban areas using worse than rural sources of water. Unhygienic toileting and sewage systems embraced by urbanites. Unsustainable energy sources in urban zones. Inadequate houses and poor housing services in urban centers. Urban areas having poor roads and unreliable transport systems. Urban residents returning to traditional and spiritual therapy. These features are discussed in detail in the receding section. 3. 2 Urban Agriculture 3. 2. 1 . Crop Farming The fall of urban employment, a disgrace to modernization theorists, has meant no income for the majority of urban dwellers.
This has resulted in more poverty, and adoption of crop farming as a livelihood strategy. This strategy is the easiest one to be adopted by urban dwellers because traditionally they arose from farmlands and also because pieces of idle land are available at their homes or open urban spaces. Urban farming has increased rapidly filling all unused land near buildings, roads, sewer areas and urban outskirts. Several times, city fathers slashed maize fields to deter would be urban farmers but they could not contain them.
ASHRAMS | 20 Popular crops grown include maize, sweet potatoes, vegetables, cassava, madhouse and sugarcane. Of these, only maize is largely grown for household consumption, the rest are for the market as families try to enhance their cash to pay municipal bills. Farming has been a very positive attribute of urban realization which has brought food and money for struggling households. Besides benefiting from the crops grown, some households acquire several pieces of land ranging from mm to several square tree and let them out for cash.
Acquisition is mainly through colonizing unused land including sports fields or inheriting from relatives or friends who are relocating. In some cases, residents travel long distances to other locations to farm land they acquired before they migrated. In case of inherited land, some of it is becoming too small as several beneficiaries parcel it out amongst themselves. Whilst urban farming has contradicted urban bye laws, it remains a viable option which should be perfected and promoted whilst owners of land are given some form of tenure to protect them. 3. 2.
Animal Husbandry Who would have thought that despite existence of strict urban bye laws, backyards could be turned into thriving dog cattle, goats or sheep? Scenes like these are no longer surprising. Our visits came across a disused pig pen and three operating poultry runs. It looked impossible to come across big animals at first except for four breeding sites for dogs. As we kept observing, we came across donkeys between Binaural Centre and Chippewa suburb. The reason for the disappearance of goats and cattle may be due to the effects of Operation Marinating of 2005.
Also because of limited spaces in the centers searched, it could have been difficult for dwellers to keep big animals. Such animals were reported in larger plots like Waterfalls during the clean-up campaign. Goats and sheep are a common site in places like Gumboil near Book Tobacco Auction Floors in Hare, Bambini along Declaratives road in Hare and Pandora Hideout along Seek road. Goats are on demand for most urban dwellers that still engage in ritual activities and their meat is quite cheap as compared from that available from butcheries.
SWARMS | 21 International Journal of Advanced Research in Management and Social Sciences 3. 3 Sources of Water Water is a precious liquid and is colorless. This definition always made sense for urban dwellers because they indeed always possessed a colorless precious liquid. Now they possibly have a colorful but still very precious liquid. In the rural areas, water could be considered as milky (from wells) or brownish (from rivers). Maybe at other points in rural areas you could come across a colorless liquid: water raining directly from the skies or water from very deep wells and boreholes.
Urban water comes from tapes but this has since shifted for urbanites in Zanzibar. The tapes are dry, or at least always dry. Water now comes from unprotected shallow wells, dams and unprotected deep wells. Thanks to donor agencies, the areas visited can now tape water from deep boreholes or rain water harvested into corrugated tanks. This strategy was adopted in reaction to the cholera outbreak in 2009 and also the typhoid outbreak currently None 2012) wrecking havoc in Hare and Binaural. But these sources are not enough for everyone.
Queues to get water at these sources stretch for several meters and because of continuous use during the day and night, the borehole equipment rarely lasts longer leaving residents in a quagmire again. In some parts of Hare these boreholes are said to be contaminated with typhoid and WHO (2012) reported that some of these boreholes should be closed as a measure to contain the epidemic. In Unit O of Chitchatting, residents have dug wells, some less than one meter deep. The wells are dug in areas that are reserved by council for the swampy: they are wet because of water running off from blocked sewage pipes.
Some of the water is salty or rusty owing to various elements of sewage and decomposing material from dump sites. Soaps, detergents, rotten food, excretion and metals form part of these harmful elements. Yet people are surviving on this water. As one resident said: We Just do not have an option. The tapes are dry weeks on ends. We need drinking, washing and toilet flashing water. Asked why they do not improve the water before use, another resident answered: We are limited. We can’t boil the water because we do not have electricity.
Neither do we have money for paraffin, wood nor water treatment chemicals like Watergate. We Just trust God with our lives. Volvo. 2 | NO. 7 | July 2013 www. Graph. Co. UK ASHRAMS | 22 The views of residents were supported by Members, Acting Town Clerk for Chitchatting n an up date report when he said: The resultant effect (of failing to get water from City of Hare which supplies them with bulky water) is that Zinged and SST Marry get a fair distribution whilst Seek North and South receive water for a day only in a week, thus residents still resort to shallow unprotected wells for water supply (Members, 2012).
To rescue residents, non-governmental organizations have initiated water supply facilities. In Chitchatting the SAID working with the International Relief and Development agency provided mega steel tanks and boreholes to selected households. They also provided such tanks to schools, clinics and community centers. 3. 4 Toileting and Sewerage Linked to the water situation is how urban dwellers have realized toileting. Residents have resorted to using the bush to relieve themselves. Some have dug their own shallow septic tanks.
For example, a tour of new stands area of Unit O extension showed that each of the new stands measuring on average mommy has a septic tank, soak away and a deep well. Half the houses have a latrine. Council bye laws prescribe that a water source cannot be within mm from a sewer tank or any other potential water contaminator. In these observed cases, some sewer tanks were situated less than mm from deep wells. Children relieve themselves in storm water drains during the day, and adults Join them during the night enjoying the cover of darkness.
Yet some use buckets in their homes and drain the collection in storm water drains, nearby bushes or maize fields. Maize fields are actually a community resource during the rain season. This makes the rain season important for two reasons; it brings food and creates bushy areas to use as toilets. In Seek, churches with large pieces of land dug latrine toilets but they quickly filled up cause they instantly became community toilets. Only a few churches who hired security teams were able to ensure their toilets remained functional. The situation is just chaotic because there is no water to run the sewer system.
It is not surprising to trample upon faces along small paths and to find faces in rubbish bins collected by council trucks once in a blue moon. It cannot be surprising given that the committee set up to revive Chitchatting town was ‘happy to report a fall of sewer www. Graph. Co. UK ASHRAMS | 23 As one looks at this phenomenon one concludes this has gone far, further than realization. Rural areas rely on the bush and their Blair toilets but because the bush is broad, you rarely trample upon fecal matter. There is a strong ecosystem to take care of the bush system in rural areas unlike in urban zones. . 5 Energy Sources Similar to rural areas, urban zones in Zanzibar now rely on firewood for their household energy needs. This has resulted in rapid elimination of trees in areas surrounding urban areas. Selling firewood has become part of the informal sector, with thriving enterprises. Main reasons urban dwellers use firewood include the fact that electricity is erratic and has become unaffordable for many households. Lorries of firewood were met in Member where firewood selling was brisk business. Heaps of wood were available in all the suburbs visited. 3. Roads and Transport Services Roads in urban communities have been affected severely by lack of maintenance. Highways are blighted with potholes and smaller roads at household level have either been eroded of tarmac to become dusty or they never received a tarmac surface. The road connecting Sham road to the main road in Binaural Town was littered with potholes whilst all suburban roads were infested with potholes. Road signs were either old or not available at all. A scene of a sick people being ferried to hospital in a man drawn cart was witnessed in Member.