THE SHADOW OF THE DAM by David Howarth


Email this review


A British writer who went to the valley of the Sambesi in East Africa to report on a huge new dam built there found a totally unexpected story upon his arrival. It was what was happening to the primitive Tonga tribe--estimated at 60,000--who were being driven from the valley by the 175 mile long lake which was formed there by the dam. These people were simple, uneducated, and could exist only on the farming and hunting crafts they had developed during hundreds of years in that area. The story of how the British government had to persuade them to move, how the government men themselves fought over the proper approach to the painful task, and how the removal of the Tonga finally led to riots, and to the tragic shooting of eight natives, is a kind of parable of our times. Nowhere could the advances of civilization on a primitive, childlike people be illustrated so dramatically or pathetically. The book ends on the trying resettlement problems faced by the Tongas, defeated by water and bureaucracy.

Pub Date: Aug. 21st, 1961
Publisher: Macmillan