Berichte des Sonderforschungsbereichs 268
- 02, 113
Change in population and land use intensity under the aspect of the physical environment and accessibility
- The land use in the Tangale-Waja area is analysed according to the two basic categories of geography: Firstly the manifold interaction between men and environment which form the spatial characteristics of an area, and secondly the decrease of influence with increasing distance. The importance of these two elementary factors is described by indicators as accessibility for the period from the precolonial situation until the time after World War II, when new roads were constructed through the mountainous area. Living in a hilly environment the self contained population (formerly called "hill pagans") had developed special agricultural techniques which can be considered ecologically well adapted. The opening up of the area after the pacification, Christianity and education, led to a considerable increase in population, the expansion of land under cultivation, and the change of settlement structure by down-hill population movement. This resulted in overuse of the fragile natural resources. The size of farm steads became too small for the family unit and the still low accessibility of the hinterland of the main interregional roads as well as inappropriate techniques of agricultural production are shortcomings causing heavy damage to the physical environment and decreasing living standards of the local population.