Rural Homestead. Image credit

Rural Homestead. Image credit

ZIMSEC O Level Geography Notes: Settlements:Rural Settlements in Zimbabwe

  • Historic settlements were rural, as the populations were mainly dependent on hunting, fishing and gathering fruits.
  • Shelter was mostly basic and in the form of caves, tents made from animal skins, huts made out of wood, leaves and grass.
  • The development of farming brought with it the need for more permanent settlements.
  • The small nucleated settlements of the hunters and gatherers were turned into more dispersed settlements as the farmers needed more room for their fields, pastures and other farming operations.
  • The Agrarian revolution which occurred in Europe in the 18th century and spread to other countries led to the development of isolated farm settlements.
  • In Zimbabwe most commercial farms have nucleated settlements as farming e.g. tobacco farming tends to be labour intensive.
  • In rural areas especially communal lands the linear settlement pattern tends to dominate.
  • This is because people settle along rivers, mountain ranges, roads, railway lines etc.
  • Most communal areas are also have the nucleated settlement patterns as homes are organized into kraals and people share pastures and fields.
  • Other settlement are also observed on a less frequent scale.

To access more topics go to the Geography Notes page.

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