.RU
Карта сайта

Settlement villages in the niger office - старонка 4


CONCLUSION



The Niger Office likes to present itself as a social welfare initiative but in reality it is an exploitative regime. Huge interests, next to which the settlers’ seem very insignificant, are at stake.

The managers, far from denying it, state that this provides a guarantee: have they not been bound, for example, to increase the population? Hence all the care and attention and the medical inspections, and so on... But this care and attention does not extend beyond what a breeder shows to his livestock, he invests care where it is going to give him a return. People are forced to live on waterlogged land and so they are given quinine. There is no indication that the Niger Office is concerned with its subjects’ genuine well-being, or with providing more comfortable living conditions and the possibilities of intellectual progress. After 10 years, Baguinéda has no school. One cannot .../...

……………………………………………………………………………………….

-49-

point to a few bicycles and call it ‘civilization’.

However, the Niger Office will reply that the settlers are the envy of the surrounding populations, that requests for concessions abound. All the neighbouring people I came across were concerned to remain free. Mr SAINTARD, the director of the Sotuba Experimental Farm, said that the Bambaras around him are disaffected. There was talk in my presence of the incurable ‘lack of enthusiasm’ among the settlers, who had not been properly prepared, and of the deleterious effect of this on recruitment.

If the haste to join up were real rather than imagined, would the Niger Office really need to organise a publicity programme of visits by the Commandants?

It should be added that while the managers of the Niger Office cover up their activities and everything that might point to their failure, they are perhaps convinced that the Africans deserve what they get. At any rate, they know how to impress this view upon a number of their agents. In Segu, a lot of Europeans who are supporters of freedom when it comes to themselves, are full of admiration for these colonisers who treat the natives badly ‘for their own good’, and they envy of these ‘civilisers’ who have the right to conduct themselves any way they like with those they ‘civilise’.

The true spirit of brotherly tutelage between the Europeans and the Africans in the Niger Office has a long way to go. For this reason it is regrettable that, faced with such an important and delicate task as managing the farming along the banks of the Niger, the Administration has practically abdicated all responsibility. It has a duty to reconsider this problem, to review the applications and …/…

……………………………………………………………………………….

-50-

calculations it receives from the Niger Office and to place the Office in more expert, well-intentioned and disinterested hands.

signed: M. SAVINEAU.29

GAO, December 15, 1937


1 The

Office du Niger

(Niger Office)

proposal to irrigate the Niger River delta in the French Sudan for cotton and rice production was officially sanctioned by the French government in 1931 and implemented in French West Africa in 1932. Initial planning had begun back in 1910 when Emile Bélime, a French hydraulics engineer, put forward his plan for irrigating the Niger river valley based on the Gezira Scheme operated by the British in the Sudan. In the 1920s a pilot project was undertaken in the region around Bamako, the capital of the French Sudan, where 7500 acres were irrigated to produce rice for consumption and cotton for export. The

Office du Niger

transplanted families from elsewhere in the French Sudan and Upper Volta to work as settler farmers in the river valley region. It also used forced labour

to develop its projects including the Markala Dam, which was built by forced labourers between 1935 and 1947. It has been described by generations of observers and historians as a disastrous undertaking. (See: J.-L.Couture Institutional Innovations and Water management in the Office du Niger 1910-1999, Scientific Directorate Working Paper No 29; and Van Beusekom, M.M. Negotiating Development . African farmers and colonial experts at the Office du Niger 1920-1960 [Oxford: James Currey, 2002] for a more detailed account of the travails of the settlers in the Niger Office.)

2 There are no directly equivalent terms in English for all the several supervisory categories referred to in this Report, as the English colonial administration was not identical to that of the French. For this reason and for purposes of clarity we have maintained the French nomenclature as far as possible.

3 Up to 1946 these were African doctors trained in French West Africa (usually at the medical school in Dakar where they undertook a 30 month course) to ‘assist’ French doctors from the military medical corps stationed in French West Africa. At this time the Assistance médicale indigène (AMI), as the health service was called, numbered around 190 European doctors and 180 African, or ‘auxiliary’, doctors. (Source: www.asnom.org)

4 The Niger Office managers insisted the settlers focussed all their energies on growing rice and cotton. In fact the settlers started to use land outside the Niger Office to grow their own varieties of food crops and supplement their otherwise inadequate diets. (See: Van Beusekom, M.M. (2002) op cit. )

5 Monitors were local African employees engaged to help supervise the settlers. As the monitors themselves generally had no agricultural training they had to learn ‘on the job’.

6 Emile Bélime became Director General of the Niger Office.

7 Underlining for emphasis in the original.

8 Clearly Madame Savineau is not familiar with the term being used in this way. In Bambara, bolo means ‘hand’ which does not clarify its use here either.

9 Banco is a local building material similar to adobe. A mixture of compacted earth and straw is formed into bricks and baked in the sun.

10 Later referred to as Mr Grelat. We are not in a position to know which spelling is correct so have followed the original. Ed.

11 Argamasse is a mixture of sand, water and sometimes lime, used as a roofing material. Its origins are believed to lie in India from where it was imported to Africa via the Indian Ocean islands.

12 See note 9

Literally a ‘circle’ guard, a ‘circle’ being the French colonial administrative district.

13 A long robe resembling a kaftan.

14 Daba is the term used by Bambara and Dioula people for

a traditional agricultural implement similar to the European hoe. The term came to be used figuratively in colonial discourse to denote an African male agricultural worker but here is being used in its original sense.

15 Approximately 45 lbs.

16 Forced labourers, or prestataires in French, were serving out their labour tax, a system introduced in French West Africa in 1912 to respond to the labour shortage in the African colonies and as a way of regulating the use of slave labour in the African Empire. The prestation was supposed to last around 9 days but in fact the system was widely abused and inadequately monitored. Savineau notes elsewhere that a forced labourer was earning 4.50 francs a day in 1938.

17 The original reads ‘fonion’, clearly a typing error. Fonio is one of the earliest cereal crops known to have been grown in the sub-Saharan West Africa region.

18 See note 14.

19 Here a daba is being used in its figurative sense, see note 15.

20 Wrapper is an English term used in West Africa for the long piece of cloth (generally 3 yards or more in length) worn around the body as a wrap-around garment. It is called a pagne

in francophone West Africa.

21 Madame Savineau never spelled out in full in her reports those terms she considered to be too vulgar fro an official written report.

22 The Circle Commandant, the French equivalent of the British District Officer.

23 The second section, or deuxième portion in French, were military reservists recruited by the French in West Africa. In 1926, under the Governor-General Jules Carde (1923-1930), authorisation was granted by the colonial government to use military reservists for development projects in the colonies. Again, as with the case with the prestation system, this responded to what was perceived by the occupying power as a chronic shortage of labour.

24 The medical service was largely staffed by serving officers of the French armed forces, notably the Navy.

nd The Messageries Africaines company ran steamships along the Niger River in the 1930s. Savineau took such a steamship, the ‘Van Vollenhoven’, when she left the Niger colony from Niamey on 2 January 1938.

25 The calculations vary. Later in the report she states that the earnings of workers in Baroueli amount to 150 francs. We have transcribed her figures verbatim here. Ed.

26 See note 1. Emile Bélime subsequently became director of the Niger Office.

27 The DN

(an abbreviation of ‘Dakar-Niger’) was the term used for the railway

which connected Dakar, the headquarters of the French West African administration, and Koulikoro on the Niger River, some 40 miles north east of Bamako in the French Sudan (Mali).

28 See note 17

29 M. usually signifies ‘Monsieur’. Reports 1,2,3,et 13 are signed M. Savineau. Report 4 is signed M

me.

Savineau, while the other reports, typed up by a secretary at HQ in Dakar, have no name at the end.
2014-07-19 18:44
  • Контрольная работа
  • Контрольная работа
  • Контрольная работа
  • Контрольная работа
  • Контрольная работа
  • Контрольная работа
  • Контрольная работа
  • Контрольная работа
  • Контрольная работа
  • Контрольная работа
  • Контрольная работа
  • Контрольная работа
  • Контрольная работа
  • Контрольная работа
  • Контрольная работа
  • Контрольная работа
  • Контрольная работа
  • Контрольная работа
  • Контрольная работа
  • Контрольная работа
  • Контрольная работа
  • Контрольная работа
  • Контрольная работа
  • Контрольная работа
  • Контрольная работа
  • © sanaalar.ru
    Образовательные документы для студентов.