Drawing from accounts of colonial experience in western Kenya, Population, Tradition, and Environmental Control in Colonial Kenya examines the government's efforts to enforce certain land management programs in relation to its initiatives to revive and co-opt African "traditions" in soil conservation and land consolidation programs. Martin Shanguhyia analyzes how these programs were negotiated or contested by the local community; further, he argues that their legacy continues to define the everyday experiences of the rural population in Vihiga County, Western Province, notably in terms of high population densities and diminishing returns from the land. Relying on a rich collection of archival sources as well as oral interviews, the book explores the intersection between government policies, demography, and community traditions within a rapidly declining natural environment and adds significantly to our understanding of Africa's environmental history.
Martin Shanguhyia is assistant professor of history at Syracuse University.
Publisher: Boydell & Brewer Ltd
Number of pages: 338
Weight: 674 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 24 mm
[A] valuable contribution to the literature on the relationship between 'indigenous knowledge', 'tradition', and 'modernity', and how these processes shaped natural resource management and conservation policies in colonial Africa. JOURNAL OF AFRICAN HISTORY
By challenging the resilience of indigenous peoples to both environmental and economic changes, Shanguhyia makes a significant contribution to African environmental history scholarship. . . . Overall, Shanguhyia's well-researched and accessible text is suitable for both upper undergraduate and graduate students. It should also find a wide readership among seasoned Africanists including historians, environmentalists, and political scientists. ENVIRONMENTAL HISTORY