LETTERS

THE SUKUMALAND DEVELOPMENT SCHEME
I am writing to you concerning the Oxford Colonial Archives Project (OCAP). A number of reports have been prepared under this project on activities in pre-Independence Tanzania of which probably the most important is on the Sukumaland Development Scheme (1947-57) with which I was closely involved as a member of the scheme team and as a contributor to the data on which the OCAP report is based. Whilst the report covers adequately the background, history, objectives and operation of the Sukumaland Development Scheme it is weak in those sections dealing with the results of the scheme and the reasons for its demise some three years before the completion of its allotted 10-year life. It ended in 1954.

Unfortunately I was not able to visit Sukumaland during my two later visits to Tanzania, but I did meet a number of people from Sukumaland from whom I culled some information and concepts of what life is like in Sukumaland today.

If the OCAP report is to be any use to future students and researchers, I feel that it should include an analysis of the scheme’s successes and failures (both short and long term) including the reasons for its early termination. It would appear that OCAP was not able to tap the memories of those most able to throw light on the end of the scheme nor has it been possible to obtain reports from people who are familiar with rural affairs in Sukumaland post-independence, by which the results of the scheme might be measured.

I would be interested to know whether any of your readers are in a position to help with any of these problems. Whether, for instance, readers could offer their views or do any research which would show how many of the objectives and teachings of the scheme were/are still in operation/use in 1967, 1977 and 1987 and why (or why not!)

Clarification on these points would not, in my view, be entirely academic. I believe that the proper analysis of the medium and long term effects of development schemes could be used to advantage on a wide scale. This is said with some feeling as I have been engaged in the planning of agricultural/rural development in many developing countries round the world since 1970 without once being able to learn the results of my work, good or bad.

J.O. Wolstenholme,
191, Oxbridge Lane,
Stockton-on Tees,
Cleveland TS18 4HY


THE FRIENDS OF RUAHA SOCIETY

I have just come back from a safari which ended up in the Ruaha National Park where I stayed at Fox’s Camp. I had earlier talked to the Regional Commissioner in Iringa who asked if Her Majesty’s Government could help in developing the Park or with rehabilitating and improving the roads to it. They need some Shs 6.0 million to erect an available Bailey Bridge over the Ruaha River. The Regional Commissioner wishes to develop tourism in the area. I explained that this did not fit into our present set of priorities and that he should try to persuade the Government of Tanzania to raise the matter with potential donors.

I had much the same conversation in Mufindi with Geoff Fox, whose family has put so much effort and investment into opening up and protecting the Park. He is a leading member of the Friends of Ruaha Society and is trying to canvas support from all quarters.

I should be most grateful if you would give the appeal publicity amongst friends of Tanzania in Britain.
C.H.Imray,
British High Commissioner,
Dar es Salaam

An attachment to the High Commissioner’s letter contains information about the Friends of Ruaha Society. The Society has been formed recently to help the Park Warden and his staff face the uphill task of protecting this part of the World’s heritage.

The Ruaha National Park at 13,000 sq.km. is second only to Serengeti in size but, together with its adjacent game reserves and controlled areas is among the largest in the world. But the pressure from poachers and others is increasing. Having decimated the surrounding areas the poachers have been moving into the park in increasing numbers. They use automatic weapons and start fires so that every year the Park is reduced to ashes. The Park staff are doing an extraordinary job, There are about 45 Rangers – about one for every 325 sq.kms. The poachers they face are superior in numbers and better armed, Ruaha is literally fighting for survival.

Several new landrovers are needed, Rangers need water bottles, binoculars, tents, radio communication etc. As a primary target for 1987 the Friends of Ruaha aim to provide the finance necessary for at Least one new Landrover suitably fitted for anti-poaching work.

Readers able to help are asked to send cheques to The Friends of Ruaha Society, P.O. Box 60, Mufindi – Editor.

1 Comment »

  1. Tanzanian Affairs » LETTERS said,

    March 13, 2011 at 12:37 pm

    […] Editor MANAGEMENT OF NATIONAL PARKS I am writing in response to the letter from Mr Imray in the May issue, about the Ruaha National Park. At this time many organisations at home and abroad are having to […]

RSS feed for comments on this post · TrackBack URL

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.