Health challenges in settler farms: a case study of Oldeani in Karatu district, Tanzania, 1920-1960

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University of Dar es Salaam
This study examines health challenges in coffee settler farms at Oldeani in Karatu District, 1920-1960. Specifically, the study investigated the development of coffee settler agriculture and its impacts on the spread of communicable and non-communicable diseases at Oldeani and the surrounding areas. Rather than focusing on communicable diseases only, as has been the case with many other studies dealing with settler and plantation agriculture, this study brings to the fore non-communicable diseases and occupational hazards as well. By drawing on political ecology, political economy, and social constructionist theories, it is argued that settler farms and colonialism in general changed the indigenous socio-economic, cultural and political institutions. Both farms and colonialism also introduced new communicable and non-communicable diseases and occupational hazards that adversely affected the health of Africans. The study has established that, the number of farms increased under different ownership arrangements, that the poor working conditions in the farms and production process in general introduced new communicable, non-communicable diseases, and occupation hazards; and that the farms increased the social intermingling of people of different cultures, hence undermining the Mbulu culture that controlled diseases; and that the established health services were not adopted by the communities. The evidence for the support of the above findings was obtained from archival, oral, ethnographic, anthropological, and secondary sources. By studying health challenges in settler agriculture, this study modestly contributes to a growing body of historical studies which link diseases and ill-health to a wider economic, political, social and cultural context.
Available in print form, East Africana Collection, Dr. Wilbert Chagula Library, Class mark (THS EAF RC111.T36)
Infections diseases, Working class, Plantations, Colonial period, Agriculture, History, Karatu district, Tanzania
Tango, P.A. (2017) Health challenges in settler farms: a case study of Oldeani in Karatu district, Tanzania, 1920-1960. Master dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam. Dar es Salaam.