Ruralisation of Urban Areas: Reversing Development in Zimbabwe

Topics: Urban area, City, Urbanization Pages: 21 (6591 words) Published: August 7, 2013
International Journal of Advanced Research in Management and Social Sciences

ISSN: 2278-6236


Abstract: Urbanisation is on an upward trend in Zimbabwe as evidenced by expansion of urban centres. Notwithstanding advances towards urbanisation, some urban centres are actually de-urbanising or ruralising as witnessed by deteriorating livelihoods, services and infrastructure. Using observation, interviews and content analysis, researchers explored this phenomenon and concludes that ruralisation has increased. This paints a gloomy picture urbanisation and researchers recommend a review of current urban models in Zimbabwe. Keywords: Ruralisation, Urbanisation, Social Services, Development, Zimbabwe

*Department of Social Sciences, Bindura University of Science Education, Zimbabwe Vol. 2 | No. 7 | July 2013 IJARMSS | 13

International Journal of Advanced Research in Management and Social Sciences

ISSN: 2278-6236


Introduction to the Study

This paper seeks to give an insight into the deterioration of urban environments in Zimbabwe. The gross fall in the quantity and quality of tangible and non-tangible services in urban services is in this paper referred as ruralisation. To explore this phenomenon, researchers used the qualitative research paradigm focusing on observation in severely affected areas in three urban areas. These were the capital city Harare, Chitungwiza and Bindura. The research undertaking was successful, discovering even more glaring decay in Zimbabwe urban life. This report begins with background information on urban and rural life before attempting to give light on ruralisation. It elaborates the aim of the study and explains the research methods employed. Following this appears a section presenting and analysing findings arranged on seven headings focusing on use of agriculture as a livelihood; adoption of traditional and spiritual therapy; ruralised sources of water; unhygienic toileting and sewage systems; unsustainable energy sources; inadequate houses and poor housing services; and poor roads and unreliable transport systems. The report finalises with two sections, one giving implications of findings and options for planners and the last one concluding and recommending. 1.2 Understanding Urbanisation An urban area is in this report defined as an area which relies on modern forms of livelihoods and modern social amenities. Distinctive by its reliance on chlorinated and taped water, urban zones vary from rural areas where water comes from boreholes, wells and rivers. Urban areas have tarmac roads and pavements. They rely on cleaner energy sources: electricity generated at well engineered hydro or thermal power stations. Even affording to ignore the moonlight, urban areas have erected their own tower lights for roads, pavements, shops, markets and termini. They use fastest modes of transport. People are employed in a money economy. They live in not only big but beautiful houses. To go to school, pupils walk very minor distances, are driven or board buses. Everyone affords hospital care. Flashing toilets are a key characteristic of city life, with showering or tabbed bathrooms.

Vol. 2 | No. 7 | July 2013


International Journal of Advanced Research in Management and Social Sciences

ISSN: 2278-6236

United Nations (UN) (2007) estimated that around mid 2007 (urban millennium tipping point), half the world population became urbanised. According to UN (2007), worldwide, 50.5% of the population is urbanised and the rate of urbanisation is 1.85%. This estimate is supported by the World Bank (2010) which further estimate that in 1900, only 5% of Africa South of the Sahara was urbanised. The figure rose to 14% and 37% by 1950 and 2000 respectively. It is further estimated that by 2015,...

References: 1. Centre for Public Accountability (2012). Local Government Authorities Bulawayo City Council Score Card March 2012. Document. 2. Chavunduka, G. L. (1994). Traditional Medicine in Modern Zimbabwe. Harare, University of Zimbabwe. 3. Chirisa, I. (2008). Population Growth and Rapid Urbanization in Africa: Implications for Sustainability. Journal of Sustainable Development in Africa, 10, 2, 23-29. 4. Government of Zimbabwe (1988). Rural Districts Councils Act Chapter 29:13. Act of Parliament. 5. Government of Zimbabwe (1995). Urban Councils Act Chapter 29:15. Act of Parliament. 6. Madhaka A (1995). Housing. In E. Kaseke(Ed.), Social Policy and Administration in Zimbabwe (pp 53-67). Harare, JSDA. 7. Mbetsa, F. S. (2002) Service Delivery Update for Period 1st-29th February 2012. Document. 8. Ministry of Health and Child Welfare (2012). Health Report 2011. Document. Vol. 2 | No. 7 | July 2013 IJARMSS | 29
International Journal of Advanced Research in Management and Social Sciences
ISSN: 2278-6236
9. Ministry of Local Government, Urban and Rural Development (2012). Report on Urban and Rural Councils. Document. 10. Muderere, T. (2011). Urban farming a mockery? [Online] Available: urban-farming-a-mockery&catid=39:opinion-a-analysis&Itemid=132, (June 2, 2012). 11. Munzwa, K. M. and Jonga, W. (2010). Urban Development in Zimbabwe: A Human Settlement Perspective. Theoretical and Empirical Researches in Urban
Management, 5, 14, 29-37. 12. Patel, D. (1988). Some Issues of Urbanisation in Zimbabwe. Journal of Social Development in Africa, 9, 2, 17-31. 13. Ramsamya, E. (1995). Socio‐economic Transition and Housing: Lessons from Zimbabwe. t. Development Southern Africa 12, 5, 18-33. 14. Tibaujuka A. K. (2005). Report of the Fact-Finding Mission to Zimbabwe to Assess the Scope and Impact of Operation Murambatsvina by the UN Special Envoy to Zimbabwe. Document. 15. United Nations (UN) (2007). State of the World Population. Geneva, UN. 16. WHO (2012). Zimbabwe Country Health Report 2011. Document. 17. Zimbabwe Statistics (2002). National Census Report. Document.
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