the Dynamics of Resettlement in Ethiopia
problems well studied
no quotas or compulsion
By Alula Pankhurst
Most analyses of resettlement focus on the macro level and settlers are assumed all to adapt in similar ways. In fact their responses differ by gender, age, education, health, wealth, etc, with a range of adaptations from bare survival to prosperity. This paper considers different understandings of success and failure by various stakeholders, reviews cases of success and failure, and suggests the need for a broader longer-term view and a move towards viewing resettlement as a development rather than a rehabilitation strategy.
Defining success is complex due to the time factor and difficulties in establishing indicators. Assessment prior to one year is risky, and even after the first harvest it may not be easy to assess who is food secure and self-reliant. Using food as the sole indicator may be unreliable given the need for cash to vary the diet, to purchase additional foods, salt, sugar, oil, spices etc, and for basic necessities such as soap, matches, as well as cooking and household equipment, clothing and blankets, agricultural inputs, and livestock. Indicators need to consider not just food, health, water and education but also economic factors including involvement in agriculture, irrigation, off-farm activities and trade, and social factors to do with wellbeing, lack of conflict and integration with local communities, which is a requisite for longer-term sustainability.
Various stakeholders have differing perspectives on success and failure. Administrators tend to focus on food self-reliance and remaining in the site, whereas settlers mention quality and type of food not just amounts, and stress the need for cash for other basic necessities. They speak not just of survival but of wellbeing and the good life which includes being able to buy livestock, clothing, household equipment, constructing better houses, affording better services, cultivating more land and becoming involved in cash-crop production and trade. Locals consider adaptation to the area, livestock production, irrigation and coffee growing, and building strong houses. They stress good relations with them through economic and social linkages and cultural exchanges. Self-settled settlers have greater expectations of prosperity, through obtaining more land through good relations with local people and success in trade.
Reviewing cases shows that the more successful households are male-headed, produce more with a wider range of crops and a greater involvement in cash-cropping, notably of sesame, the sale of which is converted into livestock and improved living conditions. Those who are able to purchase a second ox can guarantee greater independence, and many have other livestock, including sheep, goats, chickens, and bee-hives, and donkeys for carrying water and trade. Some resettlers, particularly from the Harerge area of Oromia, have been able to become very successful in a short period of time. They were able to do so by bringing cash with them or obtaining income from production in their home areas, which they were able to invest to increase production in the resettlement areas, by obtaining more land through share-cropping, hiring labour, producing cash crops and involvement in trade. Some have been able to construct houses with iron roofs and purchase more and better household and consumer goods, build shops and tea rooms in local towns, and even have even hired tractor services and bought grinding mills. Many of the more successful are characterised by better social capital, taking on leadership positions, with involvement in informal community institutions such as funeral associations and churches, and good relations with the administration, local people and investors. Avenues to success include not just agriculture with a focus on cash crops and irrigation, but also livestock rearing and trade.
Cases of failure often exhibited the opposite attributes of the more successful. They produced much less, were food insecure, had few or no livestock, and poor social capital. They included or involved female-headed households, the elderly, weak, disabled, those suffering from malaria and other lowland diseases, those who had problems of drink, those who were characterised as “lazy” by other resettlers or “not cooperative” by the leadership, and also included those who were not motivated to stay in resettlement areas, and were unable to get access to education or jobs.
On the basis of the findings it may be suggested that a broader approach to success should be considered. Food security and assistance should take into account the need to vary and spice the diet and the need for cash for basic necessities. Indicators should look into not just food, health, water, and education but also economic aspects to do with land, labour, and capital, and social indicators of adaptation, wellbeing and integration. A minimum of a two-year cycle of support with a mid-term review is advocated and a broader phased monitoring framework over several years should be developed.
The importance of capital from home areas for rapid success suggests that resettlement policy should promote rather than restrict linkages between areas of origin and resettlement so that it can be an engine for development not just a means of rehabilitation. This implies that selection of settlers should not consider merely the landless and food insecure but rather those with capital who are interested to invest and work hard.
Gebre Yntiso (PhD)
Department of Sociology and Social Anthropology
Addis Ababa University
Beginning in 2003, the Ethiopian government launched a large-scale resettlement program with the objective to enable 2.2 million chronically food insecure people attain food security. So far, over 180,000 households have been resettled in more than 100 villages. Official statements claim that the resettlement program is based on 4 pillars and 13 principles. The four pillars are voluntarism, availability of under-utilized land, consultation with host communities, and provision of minimum infrastructure. Partnership, community participation, transparency of program design, and development are some of the 13 principles. Authorities also argue that the New Coalition for Food Security in Ethiopia (the major food security strategy document, in which resettlement is a component) was developed in collaboration with partners (donors and NGOs) and based on inputs from communities in sending and receiving areas. The objective of this text is to shed light on the application of some of these guidelines and their implications.
Case studies from 11 resettlement sites in four regions reveal that prior to the actual relocation, public meetings were indeed organized to discuss the food security conditions of sending areas, the resource bases of destination areas, and the advantages of the resettlement. The conferences in most sending regions focused on information sharing about the impending relocation. In other words, authorities mainly chose one-way delivery of government message to the people rather than adopting participatory problem-solving approach. Although pre-resettlement visitations were arranged for potential settlers to make informed decision, the practice lacked consistency. The settlers of Humera and Golollee Nonno decided to be resettled after their representatives confirmed the suitability of the new destinations. However, the first group of Qeto settlers were rushed to the resettlement area before the delegates sent to the new areas returned home to report their observations. There exist widespread resentment on the part of many settlers in different sites that the delegates were shown a few good sites that do not represent inhospitable and unproductive areas.
During the public meetings most people in the sending areas were not given complete and genuine information. The destination areas were characterized as safe havens with abundant land, fertile soil, regular rainfall, and irrigation potentials. Each settler household was promised access to two hectares of land, a house, a pair of oxen, three years of relief aid, infrastructural facilities, social services, agricultural inputs, and complete household utensils. Most of these promises could not be delivered on arrival. Some settlers in Bilate, Mighaga Biribir, and Gelegu were reported to have embraced the resettlement because of threats to withhold relief aid. Could the resettlement (dictated by desperation, inducement, and intimidation) be considered as purely voluntary?
One of the four pillars of the current resettlement program provides that regional governments should consult host communities to discuss the necessity of the program and secure their consent. The real involvement of host communities in the program, however, may be characterized as nominal, minimal, and in some cases none existent. In Chewaka area, public meetings were organized to inform the local people about the resettlement plan rather than to secure their approval. In Qeto and Quara, resettlements were implemented despite strong local objections. In Guyo Dakuba, authorities silenced youth resistance against resettlement by cutting a deal with traditional leaders and elders. In Kenaf, Golollee Nanno, Shanaka, and Bilate, hosts were not formally consulted. Tension and conflicts reigned in resettlements where the concerns of the host people were overlooked. For example, two serious clashes are reported to have broken out between the settlers and their hosts in Qeto. Similarly, two encounters involving fatalities have been reported in Guyo Dakuba. Settlers and their hosts in Golellee Nanno, Bilate, Bilbo, Quara, Chewaka, and Humera are reported to have experienced disputes (if not major conflicts) over land, pasture, and water points. Of the 11 sites studied, the only host community expressed interest in resettlement was Haro-Tatessa.
As stated earlier, the government and its partners prepared the NCFSE document. During the early phase of partnership, some differences are said to have begun to surface. According to informants, who want to remain anonymous, the government expressed strong interest that the partners adhere to the existing policies/strategies. While recognizing the need to build on the exiting policies, partners expressed a strong desire to incorporate innovative approaches in the document. However, alternative food security strategies proposed by partners were resisted. This seems to have caused worries on the part of the partners that their participation may have been sought only to legitimize the exiting government policies/strategies. It is reported that the donors did not commit themselves to support the resettlement, although the program represented a component of NCFSE. It appears that donors considered resettlement in principle and refrained from taking part in the implementation. In 2004 and 2005, however, USAID made interventions in certain resettlements focusing on monitoring and provision of humanitarian assistance have taken place through WFP and UNICEF. There are also reports that MSF Holland has provided medical assistance in some resettlement sites.
To sum up, the overall response of people in sending areas to the resettlement stimulation was positive for two reasons: economic desperation in home villages and the attractive package promised by the government. A significant minority also decided in favor of resettlement to avoid the consequence of rejecting it. Due to poor preparation, poor participation, and inflated characterization of the destination areas, many settlers and their hosts were subjected to avoidable sacrifices and risks. The participation of settlers and hosts in resettlement decision must have gone beyond information sharing. As primary stakeholders, they must have been meaningfully and effectively engaged in interactive discourse and participatory problem solving. If any planned resettlement program has to be truly voluntary, then settlers should be given genuine information, adequate means for verification, and adequate time to make decision. The case studies from the 11 sites suggest that most setters are committed to staying in the resettlement areas, while the host people in most sites complain about loss of means of subsistence due to the resettlements. The host-settler hostilities, prevalent in many resettlements, are poised to jeopardize the hope for success. Instead of resettling additional people to meet the official national target (2.2 million people), therefore, the focus should now shift to consolidating the existing schemes and addressing the concerns of the host communities.
Assefa Tolera (PhD)
The paper examines the current status of the socio-cultural and environmental impact of the resettlement programme based on studies conducted between January and March, 2005 by eleven Post Graduate Students of Addis Ababa University in Oromia, Amhara, Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples’ Region (SNNPR), and Tigray Regional States. The distribution of the sites in the four major regions was as follows: Chewaqa, Harotatessa, Qeto, Kenaf, Gulelle Nonno and Shanaka in Oromia; Bilbo, Bilate and Salamago in SNNPR; Idris in Tigray; and Quara in Amhara.
In this study issues such as the dispossession of land (and other resources) of the host community, consultation with the hosts, improvements in infrastructural services, tree cutting and forest clearing, impact on biodiversity, soil degradation, and the influence on natural resource management systems are discussed.
With the exception of a few sites (e.g., Quara and Shanaka), in almost all sites covered in the studies, dispossession of land and other natural resources was reported by the host communities. In some sites (e.g., Chewaqa, Gulelle Nonno and Bilate) grazing lands and forest areas to which the local people had free access were given to the resettlers. But, the officials deny there was land dispossession. In fact in sites such as Kenaf, Qeto and Idris, the officials argue that the local people who had been displaced from the sites were illegal settlers on those plots.
Concerning displacement, the case studies show that physical displacement was reported from very few sites, while in others broader dislocatory effects (dispossession of fallow land, grazing areas, beehive trees, water points and the attendant socio-economic impacts) rather than actual physical displacements were reported. The studies show in some sites there were improvements in (some of) the infrastructural services (e.g., dry weather roads in Chewaqa, Harotatessa, Quara and Bilbo; telephone and health services for the resettlers in Idris; and schools, health centres, and water wells in Quara).
There were serious concerns in some sites as regards other issues such as education where host community schools are crowded with additional numbers of students in Gulelle Nonno. Not only is there inadequacy of the services, but also the discriminatory treatment between the host and the resettlers is a serious concern to some observers. For instance, denying the host communities access to the infrastructural services developed in the name of the resettlers (health services in Gulelle Nonno, and flour mills in Kenaf) will in the long run have negative impacts on the host-resettler community relationships.
Despite differences in the scale, there were huge losses of forest and other natural resources with enormous negative impacts on the sustainability of environment. Contrary to what has been set out in the Resettlement Programme Implementation Manual (PIM), forest and wildlife resources were not protected, nor were the resettlers provided with education and advice.
In the absence of systematically generated data, it is difficult to comment on the scale of erosion, land degradation and soil fertility loss experienced by the resettlement areas. However, given the scale of the forest destruction reported from the sites covered in these studies, the different cultural practices of the resettlers in dealing with land and forest resources, and the fragility of the ecosystem of the resettlement areas, one can safely argue that the future threat is eminent.
Kassahun Berhanu (PhD), AAU
In all the study locations, site selection criteria and procedures followed a more or less a similar pattern. This was mainly contingent on the mode and manner of the decision made in launching the current resettlement program, which to a large degree was marked by a top-down approach. The major factors that were considered in site selection include availability of un/under-utilized public land that is not put to use by local communities, accessibility of prospective resettlement sites through some kind of road infrastructure, and availability of water sources for human consumption and irrigations. Once the decision to embark on the relocation exercise was made and following the popularization of the scheme in various fora (formal sub-national level legislative and administrative platforms, wereda conferences, and community consultations), regional and zonal experts were dispatched to identify and survey potential settlements in view of the aforementioned criteria. This was undertaken in cooperation with local and grassroots administrative and representative bodies and actors. It is worth noting that the role of host communities in determining the exact locations of the settlements and their involvement in determining the selection criteria was minimal at best. Where applicable, stakeholder participation was limited to what is termed “consultation”.
The study brought to light that not all the resettlement sites that were identified as “idle” and “unutilized” spots were found to be as such. Some were abandoned state farms (e.g. Sheneka and Kenaf in Oromiya) used by local communities for various purposes while others like Bilbo (SNNPR) are partly traditional grazing areas used by Sidama pastoralists. In the latter case, rivalry and competition over land and water resources surfaced between the settlers and the pastoralists. In another incident in the case of Nonno Gololle (Oromiya), the local administration resorted to expropriation of holdings of local farmers and previous settlers alleging that their holding of large tracts was “illegal”. This was done in order to make room for the newcomers. This indicates that the assumption relating to availability of adequate land for accommodating newcomers does not hold.
Most study sites are connected to main roads by feeder dry and all-weather feeder roads, which are often of sub-standard quality. It was revealed that sites that are accessed through dry-weather roads face a series of problems during the rainy seasons when transportation of humans and merchandise (including food rations) is rendered either highly difficult or totally impossible.
Contrary to official pledges that resettlers would be provided with standard houses on arrival, local communities were asked to erect temporary collective shelters for 30-50 new arrivals. The newcomers were thus required to build their individual dwellings (mostly single room multi-purpose huts) after their arrival. Nor were promises to provide relocatees with 2 hectares of cleared farmland were not realized. This was expressed by the fact that many resettlers were required to clear their plots on their own. Moreover, in many cases they not receive 2 hectares owing to scarcity of land available for distribution.
In the great majority of cases, collective facilities like schools, health posts, vet clinics, flour mills, and grain storages are put in place by the government for free use by resettlers. Postal and telephone services including electric lighting facilities are largely absent in almost all of the sites. In order to communicate with their kin in the home of origin through mail and telephone, resettlers are required to travel long distance to urban areas where post and telecommunications offices are located.
Variations in terms of the amount and type of food rations and non-food items provided to resettlers were reported. While resettlers in some sites received 15 kg of grain per person per month, for others it was 20 kg/person/month. In some settlements, households were given additional rations like cooking oil, salt, pepper, etc. In instances where additional rations were not provided, beneficiaries were given 20 or 30 birr per month for covering food-related expenses. The maximum amount of cash reported as having been given to settlers was 50 birr. With the exception of a few sites, supplementary food provisions in most cases is either totally absent or inadequate. However, there were few sites where relocatees obtained clothes and locally made shoes. In this connection, it is worth noting that such variations are not only witnessed in different regions but also within the same region.
Problems associated with food rations were uncovered by the study. These include failure to preposition rations thereby forcing host communities to feed the resettlers until food consignments arrived, delays and interruptions, poor storage conditions, etc. Government pledges to provide relocatees with free food for three years were not translated into corresponding action. The maximum period during which relocatees were provided with free food was slightly over a year. In addition to food rations, settler households were given free non-food items like household utensils, farm tools, mosquito nets, improved agricultural inputs, and a pair of oxen for either two or four households (depending on different sites).
Schools and health posts in the overwhelming majority of cases are found either on the spot or in close proximity to the settlements. These are either newly built or had been already in place to be used by local communities. In all cases, resettler populations have free access to these facilities. Notwithstanding this, however, problems relating to increased pressure and congestion, shortage of staff, paucity of equipment and medicines, high student-teacher and student-classroom ratios, poor condition of physical infrastructural settings (school buildings, patient examination rooms…), etc., were mentioned as handicaps. Endemic lowland diseases like malaria, trypnomasis and kalhazar are reported to be prevalent.
Sources of water for human and animal use in the study sites include protected and unprotected springs, hand-dug wells, and rivers. In several sites water flow during the dry season diminishes thereby inhibiting easy and smooth access. Drawing water from hand-dug wells by using pumps is often constrained owing to inability to promptly repair pumps on the spot when they are out of order. This is due to lack of technicians locally thereby entailing a situation of scarcity and long queues. Cases of water pollution and contamination resulting from use of same source for different purposes were reported in some of the study sites. Lack of treatment of water sources on a regular basis was also mentioned as a problem affecting use of clean water for human consumption.
It was learnt that site administration in the study areas assumed different forms. Whereas one resettlement site (Chawaka in Oromiya) was designated as a wereda administrative unit with similar structures and functions as is the case in other non-settlement weredas of the country, others are organized as kebeles and sub-kebeles falling under already existing woreda administrations. In view of this, it could be argued that subsuming resettlement administration under existing administrative structures without considering special needs of vulnerable groups like relocatees, which may be distinct from those of established communities, warrants revisiting the issue to take appropriate measures.
Resettlement Dynamics: - The case of Golollee Nonno Resettlement scheme, West Shewa Zone of Oromiya Regional State.
By Misganaw Iticha
Resettlement programmes undertaken by different Ethiopian regimes have a declared objective of improving the life of the rural people affected by drought-induced famines, among others. However, failures of the relocation attempts of past regimes have been experienced. It seems that it is this issue that has been attracting the attention of researchers to examine the processes involved regarding past resettlement programmes. Studies undertaken were aimed at creating awareness among policy makers, planners and implementers by way of recommending better approaches so that the previous mistakes are not repeated.
This abstract is the result of the study undertaken on the resettlement programme of the Oromiya Regional state, with special reference to the Golollee Nonnoo Resettlement Scheme, which is located in the Nonnoo Woreda of the West Shewa Administrative Zone.
The results of the findings indicate that the willingness and acceptance of the programme by the resettlers is due largely because they became access to larger size of fertile farmland and conductive farming climate. The majority of resettlers became food self-reliant providing that free provision of fertilizer, improved seed, social services and food rations by the government. However, social services are below the expectation of the newcomers. In addition to this, they are suffering from lack of non-farm and off-farm activities, and supplementary food for which particularly women and children are in serious problems.
The host communities have got better administration services since the arrival of the newcomers. However, social tensions have arisen between the host and resettler communities due to the competition over resources like farmland, grazing land and forest. This situation had caused the new site environment to be affected in terms of loss of forests and wildlife. Moreover, the research has revealed that the adverse consequences of current resettlement are the results of lack of proper preparation, detailed research and imaginative planning. The institutional weaknesses of environmental protection and family planning to control deforestation and population explosion are also other contributory factors affecting the success of the programme.
Therefore, the past repeated failures and the result of this paper are for more focus on alternative means of combating land shortage, drought and poverty. Rehabilitating the target population at their home of origin may be considered a better alternative instead of relocating them. The huge amount of money that would be prepared for their resettlement can be invested on their rehabilitation.
Strategies should be devised to invest the diverted money on activities (like industries, factories, irrigation, etc) that may solve the problems of demographic factors, drought and poverty. This approach may help rehabilitating not only the vulnerable target population without psycho- emotional and socio-economic disturbance but also their overcrowded and degraded home of origin. At the same time, it may avoid overpopulation and deforestation. Insofar as there are un/underutilized environments, other development mechanisms should be designed in the way that they do not disturb the natural ecology.
Therefore, in the present conditions of Ethiopia where concerned multi institutions are weak, undertaking resettlement programmes might repeat the same problems of other areas of overcrowded population and degraded environment. This is why rehabilitating the target population at their area of origin is recommended as an priority approach to ensure food security and rural development in Ethiopia in general and in drought prone areas in particular.
However, where resettlement is inevitable, detailed research, imaginative planning, concerned institutional building, participation of resettlers and host communities, and proper preparation should be made.
Moreover, to make both approaches (resettlement and/or rehabilitation) effective, resettlement scholars, policy makers, funding agencies and implementers should cooperate and work together.
The Case of Intra-Zonal Resettlement in Wolayta (SNNPR)
By Mellese Madda
Poor preparation had been one of the major factors that led to the failure of resettlement programs and poor performances of many resettlement schemes around the world. Due to this many resettlement researchers stress the importance of adequate preparation if the implementation of resettlement programs is an unavoidable necessity. When we speak of preparation, it may include different activities that are required to be performed before moving the resettlers to the resettlement sites. Such activities as infrastructures i.e. schools, health service centers, accessible roads, and individual shelters, pre-positioning of food rations and basic necessities, consultation with the local population in the area are included in the preparation stage. Serious preparations at this stage can influence the aftermath of resettlement conditions which are characterized by a number of complications.
Preparations in the case of the Wolayta resettlement seem to have been inadequate and the program was implemented in a hasty manner. The programme was constrained by the lack of financial, material and skilled human resources. The inadequate preparation revealed the complicated and unpredictable nature of resettlement. Preparation to implement the intra-zonal resettlement began by establishing committees at different levels of administration i.e. from zone to the kebele (local administration), with the assignment of different activities. Those who were at the zonal level were responsible for feasibility studies, site selection and resources allocation. However, the committee members at different stages lacked experiences in resettlement dynamics. Moreover, the committee failed to include professionals (geologists, sanitary engineers, environmentalists, health professionals and sociologists or anthropologists) whose expertise is crucial in the process of preparation for resettlement.
The lack of adequate preparation in this case created different problems that affected human life and even worsened the living condition of resettlers as compared to the pre-resettlement periods. This affected the life of resettlers in several ways including, (1) reduced the coping and adaptation of resettlers to the new physical and social environment. (2) led to conflicts with local people which resulted in the forced repatriation of some of resettlers to the places of origin after they stayed more than a year in the resettlement. They then become homeless, landless, food insecure and faced social stigmatization. (3) caused opposition of locals against the programme and their refusal to be administered in the Walayta zone, resulting in political tension in the area.
Much has been said and theorized about the destructive nature of forced displacement and resettlement. However, what is less clear is the voluntary aspect of the manner of displacement. In the resettlement literature the manner of displacement is conventionally categorized into two conceptual views. However the distinction between voluntary and involuntary has become more problematic given the desperate condition of the poor who opt to resettle. The voluntary dimension of displacement seems linked to involuntary displacement because no one wants to leave the place of his/her birth and face separation from kin groups and relatives if it were not a force imposed on them by the power of poverty and lack of choice in life.
In the case of intra-zonal resettlement of Walayta the manner of displacement was declared to be voluntary. However, the case materials suggest that the concept of voluntarism as indicated in the literature does not match with the real situation on the ground. This is because the majority of resettlers point to their desperate condition as a reason to decide in the favor of resettlement. Others suggest systematic pressure imposed on them by the local authorities threatening the denial of food aid and indicating that the government will not be responsible for their problems in the future. In yet other cases some resettlers were favored by local level officials due to exaggerated promises of provisions and opportunities awaiting them in the resettlement. The cumulative effect of the events indicate that the manner of displacement hardly qualifies to fit the definition of voluntarism accepted in the resettlement literature.
Challenges and Opportunities of Salamago Resettlement Scheme, South-Omo Zone, Southern Nations Nationalities and Peoples Regional State
The “Salamago Resettlement Scheme” is one of the several state-sponsored resettlement schemes undertaken by the Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples Regional State (SNNPRS) since 2003. In government documents, the scheme is also called “Guyo-Dakuba Resettlement,” named after one of the six resettlement villages (the command village) established by the program. However, I have chosen to call it “Salamago resettlement” after the name of the host woreda (district). I preferred to use “Salamago” since it is more the official and well known name in the area.
The study has tried to show that the Salamago Resettlement is underway having some positive features but riddled with a series of setbacks and replete with a host of problems. The existence of a significant number of self-motivated and determined resettlers is an important advantage of the scheme. The resettlers who belong to the hard working community of the Konso nationality are also famous for their traditional soil conservation system. Moreover, the sanction of the free movement of resettlers coupled with the proximity between the resettlement area and their area of origin enabled them to maintain their contact with their area of origin. This is, of course, one of the distinct features of the present resettlement program (from the Salamago resettlement perspectives) as compared to the past (military regime) resettlement experience. The suitability of the area for human habitation is also another important advantage of the area.
The above positive aspects of Salamago Resettlement show that the scheme could have a better prospects if it would have been supported by proper feasibility studies, practically observed criteria for selection of resettlers, sound planning and adequate inputs. In actual fact, however, similar to past resettlement experiences in the country, the scheme has suffered from a rushed feasibility study, poorly observed selection criteria, unsound planning and inadequate inputs. As a result, deadly conflicts between settlers and host communities have occurred. Moreover, large number of resettlers, 723 heads households out of a total of 2897 heads of households, which is about 24 percent, abandoned the resettlement area in the last 20 months following their arrival in January 2004.
Therefore, I wish to suggest the following points for future considerations,
1.1. The insertion of extra-resettlers in places of those who left is not advisable
1.2. The likelihood of unofficial newcomers (self-motivated) through networking with friends and relatives requires proper control
1.3. Intensive and Integrated Family Control Education Program should be devised and provided
2. The Regional government resettlement operation manual states that the resettlers are expected to be food self-sufficient within 8 months. But this is a very ambitious, if not unrealistic, expectation. It has already been seen that in almost all resettlement schemes the resettlers have been dependent on food rations for more than a year. Hence the government should continue its close supervision and adequate budgetary support to the scheme for some consecutive years. The human and logistical capacity of the woreda sector offices engaged in the operation and management of the scheme should be strengthened.
4.1. Working on minimizing causes of conflicts. This could be based on development projects such as creating water access (establishing ponds, etc.) around major grazing areas.
4.2. Promoting indigenous conflict resolution mechanisms based on the traditions of both communities as the formal court system is often ineffective in solving inter-ethnic conflicts.
* The abstract is due partly adapted from the study paper being undertaken in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of the Master of Arts in Social Anthropology, Addis Ababa university school of graduate studies. Thanks are due to Forum for Social Studies (FSS) for its financial support, to Dr. Gebre Y. and Dr. Pankhurst, A. for their constructive comments.
A Case Study of Idris Resettlement Scheme, Qafta Humera Woreda, Tigray Region
By Asfaw Tihune
This paper examines the current Voluntary Resettlement Programme (Access to Improved Land) based on a case study at settlement site Idris, Qafta Humera woreda, Tigray Regional state. The program was conducted by the EPRDF-led Government targeting achievement of food security through improved access to land and availing institutional support. The program is one of the various planned resettlement programs practiced by the previous successive regimes of Haile Selassie and Mengistu, which turned out to be disastrous failures. The study employed the review made by experts on the experience of the previous programs and the program document of the current program to evaluate implementation on the focal site. The study used open ended questionnaire survey comprising relevant modules and protocols comprising variables to be investigated. The study also employed group discussions and field survey.
Regarding the implementation on the ground, the study found that gaps existed in site selection, recruitment of proper target groups, prior preparations, commitments to the host community and consistency with the pillars and key principles and approaches set in the programme document. The paper concludes by recommending that attention be given to those factors that led to the failures of the previous schemes, that due consideration be given to the consistent implementation of the current program documents, that active participation of the target group be fostered and that consultation with a wide range of stakeholders be undertaken. Based on the findings the author suggests that though resettlement programs could be undertaken to achieve food security, because state-sponsored programmes are complex in their nature, they should be considered as the last option.
THE POST 1991 RESETTLEMENT PLANNING AND ADMINSTRATION, AND THE CHANGING PATTERNS OF PEOPLES’ ACCESS TO LOCAL RESOURCES: THE CASE OF KENAF SITE, WESTERN OROMIA,
Ethiopia had been facing a series of food shortages traced back to 242 B.C (Webb, 1994). In addressing this problem, the country has developed and been exercising arrays of development polices and strategies, among which resettlement is the one to be mentioned. Resettlement as a policy practice has been used to attain various objectives with different success stories. In the recent (year 2002) food security strategy of the country, about 2.2 million people were planned to be relocated with the bold objective of attaining food security through improved access to land. The objective of this paper hence is to assess the processes of the program with particular reference to Kenaf site, East Wallaga Zone of Oromia Regional State. Both quantitative and qualitative methods were used in the study.
A look into the issue was made all from the points of view of planning and administration of the program, as well as its implication on peoples’ access to local resources. Accordingly, the paper argues the following. In the context of the specific site, the program is characterized by hasty planning and practice: poor site selection; poor targeting of the potential settlers; over ambitious principles; poor consultation; poor preparation and little regard for the host community and the physical environment. Consequently, risks rather than opportunities have characterized the implementation in the site.
Infrastructural and Environmental Hazards in a Resettlement Context: the case of Quara resettlement site in the Amhara Region.
By Solomon Debebe
Since 2003, the Amhara regional state resettled over 109 thousand people in to north Gondar and Awi zones. Quara Wereda of the north Gondar is selected by the region as a potential area for settling large proportion of settlers. The rationale to move of these people in selecting Quara Wereda has to do with the limited population concentration and’ virgin’ land considered suitable for agriculture. The local population of Qwara Wereda is projected to be about 65,342 people. This population is described as a mixture of Amhara, Agaws and Gumuz ethnic groups. The number of settlers by 2004 reached over 20,000. In 2005, the Wereda was accepting settlers who are estimated to be more than the previous years.
In the planning of resettlement in Amhara region, Metema, Tesegedie, Armachecho and Dangila Weredas had been considered as Seyoum (2004) noted. The inclusion of Quara was, therefore, a late and hasty decision.
The study argues that the Wereda’s accessibility only in dry season affects the ability to provide provisions and obtain health care particularly for malaria. Moreover, the inadequate health services in the Wereda exacerbates this problem.
The administrative structure of settlement sites in the Wereda has its own impact on settlers hopes and desires to stay in the new areas. The settlers administer themselves under a sub-kebele. Implicitly, it is the local leaders who administer the settlers and create linkages with external staffs.
In terms of educational facilities, in most sites, are limited and schools are in poor conditions. Students are forced to learn in open air and grass roofed classes.The number of students in a class is excessive. Moreover, due to the absence of a high school in the Wereda, students above grade eight find difficult to continue their education.
From the profiles of successful settlers, the study draws that most have good working habits and dedication to improve their livelihoods. They have good relations with administrators and local people. Nevertheless, those failed settlers seem to participate in the program due to greater expectations in the new area. People in sending areas were presented the settlement site in idyllic terms as having virgin plots of land, good infrastructure and services. Furthermore, those people who were sent to visit the site prior to settling this large population gave positive testimonies. This led to great disappointment and was a major factor for departure from the site.
The study draws the following recommendations based on findings. In the planning and initiating settlers clear and realistic information should be given to prospective settlers so as to avoid high expectations and practical failure in resettlement areas. Construction of all-season roads should be given prime importance in the Wereda. This would give chances for the government to help settlers and host population in the wet season when the threat from malaria is high. Besides health institutions should be supported. As far as possible, health workers and medicines should be made available. Likewise, it is important to provide opportunities for sharing of ideas between host populations and settlers notably as to how to cope with malaria and other lowland diseases.
Resettlement, Socio-Economic and Environmental Impact Evaluation: The case of Haro Tatessa Resettlement Site
By Ahmed Mohammed
Ethiopia is experiencing an unprecedented increase in population size as a consequence of which it is becoming increasingly vulnerable to all the problems associated with an imbalance between population growth and resources necessary to sustain it. By and large, the rapid population growth particularly in rural areas has decreased the size of land holding leading to landlessness and deterioration of the environment which were considered as causes of migration and resettlement. The history of the country is mostly related to migration and resettlement process. Resettlement, whether it is self- or government-sponsored started long ago. The first government sponsored resettlement took place during the imperial period. The second massive resettlement condemned by many authors, took place during the Derg regime. This resettlement was said to have claimed the life and desertion of thousands and was a dark spot in the history of the country.
The current government started the third state-sponsored program. The program covers the period 2003–2006 and planned to resettle about 2.2 million people from drought prone areas to areas of fertile soil and abundant rainfall. Many writers have also criticized this program, and some blamed the government for not learning from the past failures.
Among the first round resettlers of 2003, about 2146 households with a total of 10,289 people were resettled at Haro Tatessa resettlement site. All the resettlers came from Arsi zone, from eight Weredas. The major problems that forced the people to resettle includes lack of farmland, landlessness, drought and environmental degradation. The material and financial benefits promised by the government also initiated most resettlers, though the promises were not practical.
The government was involved in construction of infrastructure facilities such as roads, schools, health posts and veterinary services for livestock. The majority of these services were given in poorly constructed houses or huts.
Haro Tatessa resettlement site is found at low altitude with a maximum height of 1900 meters above sea level. The lowland situation of the site and the hot temperature condition has favored the existence of different lowland diseases. The site is infected with malaria, the number one killer disease for both adults and children at resettlement site, and about 74 percent of resettlers were reported sick for the last three months preceding the survey. The site is also infected with Tsetse fly that cause Trypanosomiasis, the top killer of livestock in the area, which is locally, called “Gendi”.
The resettlement at Haro Tatessa has resulted in huge damage to the natural forest of the area as well as the killing and fleeing of wild animals. The resettlement site was covered with savanna grassland; however, after the resettlement about 5613.7 hectare of forestland was removed. Some of the damage caused on forest and wild animals are not easily reversible, even leading to the extinction of some species.
At the outset the relation between locals and resettlers seemed good, but later the host community particularly the youths started to develop negative attitudes as they viewed resettlers as competitors over the use of natural resources. Indiscriminate cutting of trees by resettlers influenced the traditional way of conserving the natural forest and cutting trees for purpose.
Though the 2003 resettlement program was fully voluntary, in some sending woredas people refused to participate in the program, because they wanted rehabilitation of area of origin rather than resettlement.
A household survey was conducted on how resettlers perceived the new area in comparison to their old habitats regarding the availability of certain facilities. Even though health service at resettlement site is better, illnesses are more frequent after resettlement. About 82.8 percent of resettlers have reported a higher frequency of illness at resettlement area than their home areas. The households which reported that access to food was better before resettlement accounts for about 76.69 percent, while only 21.35 percent reported availability of food is better after resettlement. According to the survey on resettlers during the Dere regime, 82 percent of all resettlers households have reported that access to adequate food was better before than after resettlement. From the two survey results, one can safely conclude that resettlement, as a solution for food self-sufficiency and food security is questionable.
No improvement has been seen regarding the economic situation of resettlers. About 75.5 percent of all the surveyed households reported an annual income of below 600 Birr. About 76.7 percent of resettlers are reported as food insecure.
Generally, resettlement schemes in Ethiopia in the past as well as the present were hastily conceived, poorly planned and executed, and resulted in considerable hardship. It is due to this reason that resettlement in Ethiopia not only destroys the flora and fauna and exacerbates the environmental degradation but also claims the life of the people. Some environmentalists argue that resettlement is destroying the remaining natural resources of the country and thereby aggravating the environmental degradation problem.
Three batches of resettlers live in the Qeto resettlement are in Western Wollega Zone of Oromia region: 3947 families of the 1980s resettlers live in 16 villages, 2341 families of the 2003 batches in three sites and 5725 families of the 2004s in two sites- surrounded by 17 Kebeles of the host community with 6836 families.
The study was undertaken with the objectives of assessing the socio-economic infrastructural change that has been undertaken since the arrivals of different batches of settlers; the damages exerted on the natural environment and the measures taken to conserve it; the socio-economic and cultural relations between hosts and guests, between re-settlers of different batches, between settlers and other development partners; the adequacy of resources; the manner of resettlement, site selection criteria and its suitability; comparing settlers’ work experience at home with that of the settlement site, the accessibility of sites and the overall success of resettlement program. The study employed descriptive survey method including both quantitative and qualitative data collecting instruments.
The findings of the study indicated that in terms of services two out of three resettlement sites of the 2003 batch do not have health posts of their own but share the clinics of the 1980s causing severe health service level decline. Two of the 2004 re-settler sites have their own health posts. However, they are ill equipped in human, materials and financial resources, and are unable to control outbreaks of illnesses related to relocation. The 2003 and 2004 settlers were moved to sites before schools were built, resulted in discontinuing and lack of access to education. Two of the 2003 sites drink water collected from unprotected springs and rivers due to absence of safe drinking water. In terms of infrastructure the resettlement of additional resettlers was not accompanied with the building of new roads or improvements to existing ones.
In terms of agriculture the average land holding size of peasants in the study area being 0.5 hectares in Gawo Dalle and one hectare in Hawa Welel, where already about 28% of the total local peasants population were landless, resettlers were deployed to the study area without making comprehensive feasibility study, and this intensified land shortage. The 2003 and 2004 settlers in Hawa Welel were given plot sizes ranging from 0.4 to one hectare per household, which is far less than the 2 hectares that was planned. Farmlands were taken from the 1980s settlers in Mender 21 and given to the 2004 resettlers, and from locals in Mucho, Tulama, Arabshi and Arere Kebeles and were given to Gudina Mucho, Tulama and Village 18 settlers. This resulted in clashes, where serious injuries among locals as well as resettlers, burning of houses, grains and grain stores of the hosts. In terms of support services to the agricultural sector no new veterinary clinic was built since the arrivals of the 2000s resettlers and none was under construction, and there was no improvement on development of credit mechanism. 44.43 percent of the 2004 setters could not cultivate their plots due to lack of tractor service in village 21, Regarding natural resources resettlement resulted in consequences of depletion of resources; bigger trees and riverine belt were the most affected.
The socio-economic relations between the 1980s settlers and the locals were found to be better than such relations between 2000s and locals. The study further indicated that there had been incidences of some inducements and pressures and unnecessary family separation in the 2003 and the 2004 resettlement.
The conclusions suggest that the 2003 and 2004 resettlement in Qeto increased the impoverishment risks to locals and to the earlier settlers by increasing landlessness, tensions and conflict, marginalized locals, and led to incidents of violation of their property rights, and denying access to common property. The resettlement has also caused a decline in the service levels of socio-economic infrastructures. The current intra-regional resettlement program of 2003 and 2004 has so far failed to integrate settlers with locals as anticipated, rather it has fuelled conflicts over land resource; impoverished settlers, resulted in some cases of violated rights, and reduced their access to education and health. Rather than resulting in improvements in their livelihoods it has generally left them land poor, and food insecure.
Key words: resettlement, impoverishment, landlessness, infrastructure, manner of resettlement.
By Driba Dadi
Shanaka resettlement scheme in Agarfa district is one of the five conventional resettlement sites in Bale zone. The site was selected for its relative accessibility and the larger number of settler households as compared to other sites.
The objectives were to assess the extent of preparations made before the arrival of settlers in the receiving areas i.e. feasibility study made; whether settlers could able to produce enough for home consumption or not after settlement, whether the settlement site can support sustainable development or not in the future, and the relationships that exist between settler population and the host communities.
In order to meet these objectives, a total of 98 (6.7 %) of the total sample respondents were selected and interviewed using structured questionnaire. Data collections were also supplemented by field surveys and site observation.
A large number of settlers were able to obtain houses upon their arrival. However, other basic social services and physical infrastructures were introduced to the area after settlers arrivals, indicating the absence of proper pre-planning and implementations.
In relation to producing enough food for home (family) consumption, most respondents and the field survey have indicated that they were unable to produce enough for home consumption as the land distributed was less than half a hectare (i.e. 0.3068 ha). Moreover, the total land available for settlers is much less than the total household demanding for plots of land. Therefore, the required two hectare farm land distribution for each head of household could not be provided. Furthermore, the fate of the following generation has not been taken into consideration.
Last but not least, responses from various government officials at the district level and interviews made and personal field observation showed that there was no significant conflict reported between the settler population and host communities over resource competition at the time this data collection was made.
Address: Forum for Social Studies, P. O. Box 25864 code 1000 Addis Ababa,
Web site designed by