Name ID 2378
Spear, Thomas Mountain Farmers, Moral Economies of Land and Agricultural Development in Arusha and Meru
Page Number: 088
Extract Date: 1902
The Arusha boma and township were themselves placed in the midst of one of the most densely settled areas of Arusha, and Mount Meru became one of the few areas in Tanzania where the administration actively promoted European settlement through schemes designed to attract both small- and large-scale farmers. The first was the settlement of one hundred Afrikaner families who had driven their ox wagons north after the Boer War, arriving in Arusha in 1902:
"The men — strong, wide figures with long beards, crushed down hats, serious, but in many ways good-meaning facial features; the women with large bonnets; the children like small farm boys and girls at home; the heavy covered wagons; the beautiful dogs; in short, just as one has seen it so manifold in pictures."
The administration welcomed the Afrikaner pioneers and gave each family 1,000 hectares on the northern slopes of Mount Meru between Oldonyo Sambu and Engare Nanyuki in the hopes that they would develop this semi-arid region on the fringes of Maasailand. They hoped in vain, however. Within a few years many Afrikaners had either moved on to Kenya or returned south, while those that remained preferred to hunt or keep livestock and cultivated only small gardens of vegetables and maize.