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4.1The concept of settlements

Concept from this subtopic

a.       Define settlement

b.       Explain categories, types and characteristics of settlement

c.       Explain functions of settlement and their importance

A settlement is a place with housing units where people live and carry out their activities. This involves any form of habitat from a small building to large towns where people live entertain centres

-          Settlement can be temporary or permanent

-          Settlement may include shops, school, factories government buildings and entertainment centres

Types of settlement

         i.            Rural settlement

       ii.            Urban settlement

(i) Rural settlement

The basic unit of rural settlement is a homestead. Rural settlement comprises villages and hamlets, which may be linear, nucleated or dispersed. In Tanzania, about 80 percent of the population live in rural areas. The main economic activity in the rural settlement is agriculture, which involves crop production and livestock keeping. Other activities include fishing, lumbering, bee-keeping and hunting.

(ii) Urban settlement

-          Urban settlement characterized by continuous by construction of buildings

-          It characterised by high population

-          There are different kingships

-          The main activities are non-agriculture activities

Settlement pattern

 Settlement pattern is the distribution of human activities and houses across the landscape.

-          It also refers to the shape of settlement.

-          Settlement can be designed according to the function and location.

Types of settlement pattern

           i.            Linear settlement pattern

         ii.            Dispersed settlement pattern

        iii.            Nuclear settlement pattern

(i) linear settlement pattern is a type of settlement pattern with buildings developed along specific linear features such as roads, rivers, coastlines, an escarpment or a zone where water is near the surface.

- it can be influenced by roads, coastal area and rivers

- linear settlement might be curved or straight

- this settlement makes easier for providing their services and activities such as fishing and transportation

(ii) Dispersed (scattered) settlement pattern

-          It consists of houses with a scattered form such as homesteads are isolated. Dispersed settlements are often associated with extensive farming.

-          The houses may be separated by physical features such as valleys, rivers, ridges and escarpments.

-          Houses are separated from one another by farms.

-          Factors for scattered settlement are availability of enough land, topography and low population in village.

(iii) Nucleated settlement pattern

-          It is also known as a clustered or compact pattern.

-          It consists of dwellings and other buildings, which are near to each other.

-          Compact refers to concentration of many buildings in a single place with several land uses.

-          They are connected by roads or footpaths or both.

-          This type of settlement is common in urban areas

-          The main factors are trading, mining, industries and provision of better social services.

Characteristics of a settlement

(i) Site and location of a settlement

- Site refers to the place or land on which a settlement is built. It is about the landforms and arrangements of an established settlement.

-Some sites may be on highlands whereas others may be in lowland areas.

-Location or situation means the position of the settlement in relation to other things in the region.

(ii) Size of settlement

On the basis of the size of population, settlements may be of different sizes ranging from villages, towns, municipality, and cities to mega cities.

(iii) Temporary or permanent settlements

The time taken by inhabitants to live in a particular area also helps to characterise human settlements. Based on time, settlements are either temporary or permanent.

-          A temporary settlement is the one where people live for some time and migrate to other places. An example of a temporary settlement would be a refugee camp or a mining centre.

-          Permanent settlement is when people establish stationary habitats for a long period. Factors determining a site and location of settlement There are different factors determining a site and location for settlement establishment as follows: Availability of water sources: Availability of water is one of the factors, which influence a settlement development on a particular site.   

(iv) pattern settlemet

-          Settlement pattern is a way buildings are arranged.

-          Settlement can be arranged in term of linear, nuclear or scattered settlement.

(v) function settlement

- Settlement is arranged according to function such as market town, mining town, religious and commercial areas.

(vi) Hierarchy

-   Settlement has levels, from lower to upper level.

-   It starts from isolated dwelling, hamlet, village, small town, large town and cities.

Function of settlement

(i) Defensive centres

These centres are established to provide services for defence and security of a region or a country. For example. Many settlements or centres have armies, navies, and air forces. For example , Migombani, Jozani, Masingini, Kiwengwe, Amani Juu, Kibweni, Chukwani, Vitongoji, Kinyasini, and Ngezi forest in Zanzibar; Kisarawe, Bagamoyo and Chalinze in Pwani Region, Kigamboni in Dar es Salaam, Ngerengere in Morogoro Region, Manyovu in Kigoma Region, Mikindani in Mtwara Region, Itende in Mbeya city, Ihumwa and Msalato in Dodoma city and Nachingwea in Lindi Region

(ii) Administrative centres

These functions include planning, enacting laws and by laws, directing lower authorities of the government and implementing some policies and plans from higher authorities. They may also serve as headquarters of all regions and as district councils. For administrative centres to perform these functions, they must contain public buildings, offices, banks, and post offices. An example of national administrative centre in Tanzania is in Dodoma (The capital city of Tanzania)

(iii) Cultural and religion centres

These centres have unique cultural and religious history or record. Many settlements or centres have cultural functions such as provision of education, arts, galleries and museums, for example Dar es Salaam, Bagamoyo, Kilwa, and Zanzibar

(iv) Mining centres

- These centres are dominated by mining activities. Such as Mererani and Shinyanga

(v) Fishing centres

- These are developed nearby water bodies such as Mwanza near river victoria and the part of coast such as Dar es salaam, Lindi, mtwara and Tanga.

(vi) Trading centres

.- Examples of trading centres include the Kariakoo business centre, Kisutu central market, Magomeni central market, Mlimani city mall in Dar es Salaam, Chief Kingalu central in Morogoro.

(vii) Resorts and tourist centres

These centres cater for recreational needs of people in surrounding areas, for example, Dar es Salaam, Bagamoyo and Arusha on Tanzania Mainland; Unguja and Pemba in Zanzibar. These settlements or centres have ancient buildings, entertainment venues, sports facilities and natural features that attract tourist activities. Those centres are important for providing employment, generating foreign currencies and for recreation purposes.

(Viii) residential centres

-   It characterised by mixed of agriculture and non-agriculture activities.

-   In rural area residential are build nearby farms while in urban are build in peri- urban

(ix) Industrial centres

These settlements or centres are marked by mixed manufacturing industries. These centres or regions are established by the government for industrial production. These settlements or centres are mostly found in urban areas, for example, Dar es Salaam, Mbeya, Dodoma and Pwani. Such regions have developed as a result of the establishment of industries.

(x) Financial centres

financial services such as loans, banking, savings, Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) and insurances are accessed. Some cities such as Dar es Salaam, Arusha, Mwanza, and Mbeya have developed into important financial centres.

(xi) Satellite Centres

These are area established near large town to reduce congestion in town.

Other reasons for establishing satellite centres are to redirect future growth of the city, to control migration of people from rural to major towns and to reduce the problem of unemployment and shortage of social services in urban areas by motivating people to live in these newly-established centres.

Importance of settlements

(i) Economic development.

(ii) Enhance security.

(iii) Better provision of social services.

(iv) Reduce occurrence of hazards.

(v) Provision of open and green spaces.

(vi) reduction pollution problem.

4.2: Growth of settlements

Concept from this subtopic

a.       Analyses factors for growth of settlements

b.       Assess social and economic problems associated with urban growth

c.       Suggest ways of solving existing problems related to urban growth.

Factors influences the growth of settlement

Growth of settlement is influenced by natural, biological and human factors;

1.       Natural factors

i.            Climate

especially rainfall and temperature, motivate or favour some human activities. People prefer to settle in areas with good climatic conditions, depending on whether a country is developed or developing. Many settlements are found in areas with reliable rainfall. Such areas are suitable for agriculture activities.

  ii.            Soil

Fertile soil with good quality may influence settlement growth. Rich volcanic soils found in the East African highlands support agriculture which, in turn, attracts dense settlements. Sand and clay soils, which are deficient in minerals, cannot support agriculture and settlements. Productive soils (volcanic soil) found along the slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro support agricultural activities and settlement.

iii.            Minerals and energy resources

People create settlements near mining centres to get employment and earn income. Such settlements include Mwadui (Diamond), Geita (Gold), Chunya (Gold) and Kahama (Gold).

   iv.              Vegetation

Thick vegetation covers like that of the rain forests with big roots discourages the establishment of settlements. Dense forests increase the costs for land clearing before constructing buildings. Also, Miombo woodlands infested with tsetse-flies are not suitable for human settlements. Moderate vegetation, on the other hand, attract people to settle.

       v.            Water sources

Rivers, springs and lakes with fresh and clean water attract settlements since water is important for human beings, plants and livestock. Water is used for drinking, cleaning, fishing, washing and other economic activities such as irrigations, hydro-electric power generation and navigation

2.       Biological factors

Areas, which are free from pests that cause diseases, attract settlements whereas those with pests such as mosquitoes and tsetse-flies are generally avoided for settlement. For example, Mbeya, Njombe and Iringa (highlands) have a cool climate which attract settlement while area like central regions such as Singida with areas that are attacked by tsetse-flies. People avoid to settle in areas that are prone to tsetse-flies.

3.       Human factors

                       i.            Social factors

Social services such as health, education and water supply have pulled people from their original places to live in areas where such social services are easily available and accessible. The availability of more primary and secondary schools, universities, hospitals as well as safe and clean water contribute to the growth of settlements.

                ii.            Economic factors

Economic opportunities are among factors influencing the growth of settlements. Economic opportunities such as employment and trade motivate some people to migrate to those settlements.

              iii.            Political factors

The nature of political ideology influences the types and patterns of settlement. This is done through policies, plans and programmes established by the government. Settlements may be established on political grounds. The best example is the establishment of Ujamaa Villages in Tanzania in the early 1970s which had a crucial impact on settlement. To-date, the Human Settlement Development Policy of 2000 in Tanzania establishes that, human settlements should be classified as, villages, towns, municipalities, cities and mega-cities. Political unrest can also cause displacement of people in one area and establish new settlements. Places such as Sudan, South Sudan, Eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Somalia, Rwanda, Burundi and Northern Uganda have experienced long periods of civil wars.

            iv.                   Cultural factors

Such cultures influence the way people establish their settlements. Communities involved in farming activities settle in areas, which are agriculturally productive. Communities of fishermen and honey collectors settle in areas that support and sustain their livelihoods. Religious centres attract worshippers from different parts of the world. Some people, however, often move away from areas which are believed to have superstitions or witchcraft beliefs

Social and economic problems associated with urban growth

         i.            Environmental pollution

       ii.            Increase number of crimes

     iii.            Traffic Congestion

     iv.            Increase number of street children

       v.            Health problems

     vi.            Growth of slum and squatter settlement

    vii.            Poor provision of social services

ways of solving existing problems related to urban growth.

         i.            Application of family planning method

       ii.            Improvement of infrastructure

     iii.            Creation and implementation of settlement policies and plans

     iv.            improvement in access to financial services

       v.            provision of social services

     vi.            control waste disposal and sewage system.

    vii.            Allow private sectors to provide services

Sample of questions

1.       Assume you are in an urban planning team, how would you advise the Government of Tanzania to overcome the challenges associated with urban growth? Give advice by using at least six points.

2.       You have met five Form Two students debating that the current modification of infrastructures in Dar es Salaam is a wastage of public funds as long as the capital city is officially in Dodoma. Based on the settlement functions of Dar es Salaam city, explain how you would convince them on the importance of developing its infrastructures




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