The impact of sisal industry on the growth of Tanga Town
The problems that are associated with urban life are basically those of lack of housing, unemployment and inadequacy in the supply of essential facilities and services to match the town population. Such problems have been aggravated by several factors amongst them, the deterioration of urban economic base and influx of population from the rural to the urban areas resulting in over-usage or misuse of the facilities provided for the population that had been living or that had been planned for in the urban area. This study has examined the growth trends that a town with a mono-cultural hinterland underwent during its periods of prosperity in Tanzania and the problems that it is facing after the decline of the crops it depended on. The study further has established that the growth of towns is caused by various factors. The factors outlined though universal, have been based on Tanzanian experience and thus specific to Tanzanian towns due to the heterogeneous nature and resource endowment of the Tanzanian country-side. ' The possibility of applying the suggestions has been done by taking Tanga as a case study and the problems that have been indentified are not unique to this town but are characteristic of towns with single growth stimulations not only in Tanzania but throughout the world. These towns usually are in problems whenever the growth stimulators collapse or cease to have any growth effect. For a crop mono-cultural town, the prosperity or decline depends on the future of the crop. With the existing marketing arrangements the town's growth lie under constant uncertainties because a negative change in prices usually result in decline in the crop. The fall in the crop if not subsidized by the government leads to urban decay. For this reason the study focuses on ways to arrest the fluctuations in the growth of towns of this nature provided the conditions are similar. The solutions to the problems outlined are framed based on the country's economic system and the current Third Five Year Development Plan whereby the government pursues planned development and growth through control in major sectors of the economy like industry. Agriculture (Estate Agriculture) and large commercial and mining operations. This calls for a deliberate government effort to be effected to change the agricultural system of Tanga Region and the industrial base of the town so as to direct the future growth of the town. This study has also tried emphasis on the activities that will realize this effectiveness and eventually lead to homogenous growth for the town. This will make the regional rural areas, and the town have their economic bases strengthened, thus minimizing the problems of unemployment, poor and inadequate housing and improve urban physical infrastructure. The suggestions can be attained through deliberate government efforts and the understanding and willingness of the people. The suggestions put forward are more economic in nature rather than physical due to the fact that Tanga town has a Master Plan which has laid down the physical developments which have to take place up to the year 1980. The achievements that Tanga has attained have fallen short of the expected targets. This fact also necessitated the study to be undertaken, since the town is growing slower than it was expected. The stagnation in urban growth have been attributed to economic factors mainly lack of effective industrial base in the town and the full in sisal prices. It is thus, hoped that the recommendations put forward will not only act as a guide to future growth of towns in Tanzania, with the conditions which resemble those of Tanga, but more important act as a guide for planners in the region in the drawing of both Regional and District Plans. Important as well is that, they will guide town Planners in making a faster Plan Review for Tanga town which is done every five years from the date the Master Plan was drawn. The Planners in their master Plan dealt more with the Town's existing economic base, without relating it with the region's economic base, thereby falling short of the true trend of the growth of the town. They identified the problems in the town but did not dwell with the causes for the problems thus coming out with unworkable solutions. For this reason the recommendations outlined in this work dwell more with upholding the industrial base of the town and the economic base of the hinterland both of which are expected to rid the town of its inherent problems.