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[Compound at Takalafiya, c.1939]



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Showing two girls spinning yarn in a compound. The photograph is part of a series of British Official photographs (Crown Copyright Reserved) issued under the general title 'Sleeping sickness experiment is pattern for progress in rural Africa'. The photograph has two captions stuck on the reverse. The first reads: 'The British Government is carrying out a successful and interesting experiment in Nigeria, to beat that great menace to African life, Sleeping Sickness. The town of Anchau, centre of the experiment is in the middle of an area ravaged by the disease-carrying Tsetse fly, and the scheme, which will be finished in 1947, has brought a new way of life to many Africans. To combat the Tsetse Fly, is a long process; not only have the African villagers to be educated to a better way of life from the hygiene viewpoint, but, land clearance must be undertaken, whole sections of the community must be moved from the crowded area, and new agricultural methods must be introduced. To do this in many cases involved reading and writing classes for adult villagers. All this work has had to be done by a depleted staff of two instead of the ten Control Officers judged necessary for the job before the war, a District Officer, two entymologists and a well-sinking foreman are carrying the scheme through. When it is finished it will provide a pattern for rural development in Africa'. The second caption reads 'Here is a spotlessly clean compound in the newly planned town of Takalafiya. The two girls sit in the shade of an orange tree and spin. Contrast this picture with DW.2122 which shows the squalor of a compound in the old town'.


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Royal Commonwealth Society Library. Cambridge University Library. University of Cambridge.

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