Resettlement and Livelihoods: Linkages

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This empirical study focused on the effects of planned resettlement programme on the livelihoods of resettlers in the two selected regions of Ethiopia. In this research, two areas of studies were identified: planned resettlement and livelihood security. This chapter focuses on how various authors and authorities have defined and used the concepts involved in these research areas. The topics covered in this chapter include the concepts and theories of resettlement, sustainable livelihoods, the linkage between resettlement and livelihoods, the resettlement experience in Africa as well as the analytical framework of the study.

Resettlement: Concepts and Theories

Resettlement is a programme that many governments in developing countries have been implementing; however, with mixed results. Resettlement as a policy action or intervention strategy differs from one case to another depending on the objectives of the programme. Most resettlement programmes have the objectives, firstly of poverty reduction, mainly targeting the poor communities especially the landless and, secondly, regional development targeting those with own resources to invest in agricultural activities. It is quite difficult to define resettlement without referring to other related terms that describe population movement such as migration, colonisation and transmigration. “Resettlement, colonisation, or transmigration all refer to the phenomenon of population redistribution, either planned or spontaneous” (Rahmato 2003:1). According to Rahmato, different countries give emphasis to different terms, for instance, ‘transmigration’ implying government sponsored programmes in Indonesia, ‘colonisation’ referring to occupation of uncultivated land in Latin America, and ‘resettlement’ seems to be the more appropriate expression in the Ethiopian context that implies moving people to new locations. For Rahmato, resettlement is the phenomenon of population redistribution either in a planned or spontaneous manner: relocating people in areas other than their own for the purpose of converting “transient populations- nomadic pastoralists, transhumant or shifting cultivators- to a new way of life, based on sedentary forms of agricultural production” (Rahmato 2003: 2). According to Abbute (2002:25), “resettlement involves the movement of communities from one environment to the other, and changes or modifies the physical and social environment in which settlers find themselves in and adapt to”. Piguet and Dechassa (2004:134) also define resettlement as a “planned or spontaneous redistribution of phenomena of population”. According to Woube (2005:19):
Resettlement is defined as the process by which individuals or a group of people leave spontaneously or un-spontaneously their original settlement sites to resettle in new areas where they can begin new trends of life by adapting themselves to the biophysical, social and administrative systems of the new environment.
All of the above definitions emphasise that in the process of resettlement settlers could move voluntarily or involuntarily from their areas of origin to the new resettlement sites and this phenomenon is not without consequences. To Woube (2005:19), in this spontaneous or planned movement from their original settlement to new sites, people have to adapt to the biophysical, social and administrative system of the new environment. According to Woube (2005:25-27), during the relocation or adaptation process, resettlers may face physical and mental stress and different kinds of impoverishment risks. In order to minimise these risks, resettlement programmes, planned or spontaneous, should be planned, implemented and evaluated appropriately. Although this study mainly targets the planned resettlement programme, it is very difficult to demarcate the difference between planned and spontaneous resettlement schemes

The Rationale behind Resettlement Schemes

Worldwide experience suggests that resettlement, caused by development projects, conflicts or other socio-economic, political and environmental factors, is a risky process that often leads to impoverishment and rarely results in sustainable development (Brown, Magee and Xu 2008; Cernea and McDowell 2000; Hwang 2010; Ohta and Gebre 2005). Other studies have shown that living conditions and livelihoods of resettled people improved after resettlement (Agnes, Solle, Said and Fujikura 2009; Manatunge, Takesada, Miyata, and Herath 2009, Nakayama, Gunawan, Yoshida, and Asaeda 1999). Different countries undertake resettlement programmes for different purposes and objectives depending on their social and political situations. These include poverty reduction, the improvement of social services and restoring the income and livelihood of affected people (Cernea 2008:89; Cernea 2009a:52; Pankhurst 2009:13-15).
From the Brazilian experience, one can learn that resettlement is helpful in creating new growth centres and reducing regional imbalances. These include creating conditions to integrate regions into the market economy, establishing conditions for effective agricultural transformation of the semi-arid and arid regions, redirecting labour migration to agricultural areas in order to minimise migration to the urban areas, and stimulating a process of industrialisation (Helena and Heneriques 1988:322).
According to Oberai (1992:16), the principal objective of the resettlement programme in Malaysia was “to develop land for the landless and the unemployed” in order to assist the rural poor such as those with small and fragmented holdings. In Malaysia, “land development and settlement constitutes one of the most important instruments of the regional development programme”. Land development and settlement were reported to have increased rural production, raised rural income and reduce rural-urban migration in Malaysia (Obeari 1992:79).
The Somalian experience also indicates that the objectives of the resettlement programme were to attain redistribution of Somalia’s population so as to increase productive rural enterprise, and provide social services to Somalia’s largely nomadic population (Ragsdale and Ali 1988:205).
Kassahun (2003:3), basing his argument on the Ethiopian experience, also postulates that resettlement is “a way out of pressing pressures caused by food shortages, land fragmentation and congestion faced by producers, rampant unemployment, marginality of land and decline in productivity in areas under cultivation.” Pankhurst and Piguet (2009:9) also state that addressing the problem of population pressure, dealing with famine, provision of land for the landless, increasing agricultural production, promotion of regional development are some of the purposes of resettlement in Ethiopia.
It suffices, therefore, to go through the objectives of resettlement as mentioned by Oberai (1992:71 – 87). These are: 1) population redistribution; 2) development of new areas; 3) provision of land for the landless; 4) promotion of regional development; 5) agricultural development, and 6) ensuring equity


Population Redistribution

Population redistribution is the process of moving people from densely populated areas to more sparsely populated areas. However, one can learn from the experience of different countries such as Sri Lanka, Indonesia and Malaysia that this could have insignificant contribution to the intended relieving of population pressure, unless strategies are designed and developed to retain population transmigration within a country. When the resettlers move, immigration sometimes more than doubles. It is also futile unless effective family planning is exercised at the house of origin and destination in order to avert recurrence of the same problems after a few years

Development of New Areas

The reasons for colonising new areas are increasing agricultural output, ensuring national security, providing land for the landless and relieving population from over-crowded areas. However, colonisation of new areas is not an end in itself but a means to achieve prescribed goals in view of the aforementioned

Provision of Land to the Landless

It is known that the demand of agricultural land is increasing so as to open employment opportunities. Hence, the resettlement programme is used as one of the approaches giving the un-/underemployed access to land. This applies to the unemployed and the landless in both rural and urban areas

Promotion of Regional Development

Regional development is “the promotion of industry and trade, the exploitation and processing of minerals, forestry and other natural resources, and the improvement of transport and communications necessary to integrate the region more effectively into the national economy” (Oberai 1992:78). To achieve this, the supposedly un-/underutilised areas have to be accessed by producers through resettlement programmes.
However, it should be carefully noted that unless the life condition of resettlers is better at resettlement than their at their place of origin, the process of the programme could be considered as abuse of not only the resources of manpower and the time of resettlers but also of the resources of all the bodies involved in the process. There would be employment for the jobless in the resettlement area if there is investment in buildings, road construction, communication services, etc. These lead to the exploitation of available resources which in turn brings about the development of the national economy in general and the new sites in particular. This is what can be said about promotion of regional development in the course of resettlement programme.

Agricultural Development

Agricultural development is one of the objectives of resettlement programmes. Since resettlement areas are treated with a new approach in any kind of development, the strategy of new ways of undertaking agricultural activities could be designed so that increased production on the part of resettlers in the new environment could be realised.
Consequently, the income of the resettlers can be improved when they are provided with better agricultural inputs in their new areas of domicile. (Yared 2002: 8). Even though it is faced with undesirable outcomes in different countries, improving agricultural production is one of the objectives of resettlement programmes that have been undertaken at varying times and places. This is also true as depicted by the Ethiopian experience of resettlement, irrespective of resettlement type (be it low cost and/or high cost resettlement schemes).

Ensuring Equity

Ensuring equity is another objective of resettlement. The Republic of Tanzania tried to minimise the gap between urban and rural areas through the aim of fostering communal production on the Ujaama (Socialist) model. The strategy that the country used for this purpose was nucleated resettlement schemes (villagisation) in order to mobilise land and labour to achieve equitable income with growth. However, it was unsuccessful due to the migration of the working force to urban areas where less emphasis was given to urban development (Oberai 1992:86).
What can be said here is that the rationales behind resettlement schemes are not exclusive. For instance, increasing productivity would be at the same time, increasing the settler income and thereby addressing the problems of food entitlement.


The Push and Pull Factors

Evidence in Africa in general and in Ethiopia in particular has been witnessing massive resettlement since the 1960s (Olawepo 2008:1). According to Pankhurst and Piguet (2009:9) and Bennett and McDowell (2012:13), the major causes of this large scale displacement can be categorised into three causes: 1) conflict-induced displacement – mostly people displaced due to socio-political upheavals such as civil unrest, war, religious and ethnic crisis; 2) disaster-induced displacement – people displaced due to natural and technological disasters such as droughts, famines, floods, etc.; and 3) development-induced displacement – people relocated due to large-scale infrastructure and other development projects, such as construction of highways, ports, airports, dams, irrigations and reservoirs. In addition, people can also be displaced due to planned resettlement schemes for agriculture, urban resettlement and other development projects.
Tan and Yao (2006:25) argue that whether it is voluntary or forced, resettlement is a significant cause for population dislocation, human misery and disaster in Africa. It dismantles the indigenous production system and ways of existence, affects the social fabric of existing communities and creates risks of impoverishment.
In most of the cases the push and pull factors play the greatest role in the decision of individuals to leave their home areas. Push and pull factors are those socio-economic and political factors which force people to leave their homes, on the one hand, and the factors that attract people to the new locations, on the other. According to Tan (2008:41), the most common factors that have been identified as push factors include under-employment or unemployment, diminishing resources, population pressure and a difficult and unsatisfactory life.
In Ethiopia, decline or unavailability of rainfall result in drought which is the one push factor for resettlement of people; furthermore, beside high population pressure, small farmland, land degradation, frequent famine and landlessness are among the argued factors for the current resettlement undertaking (FDRE 2003b:2 – 5; Tesfaye 2009:855). Accordingly, enabling the chronically food insecurity households attain food security through improved access to land has been the main objective of the programme.
The most important pull factors are demand for labour, availability of land and good economic opportunities. In Ethiopia, availability of underutilised land has made its own impact on the decision of resettlers to be relocated in the new destination (FDRE 2003b:6). Yntiso (2002:276) also assessed the attitudes of Ethiopians in drought affected areas regarding voluntary and involuntary relocation and found that they resettled due to pressure from family, friends and neighbours.
According to the government of Ethiopia, the main push factors are erratic rainfall, small landholdings, degraded farmlands, infertile soil, pest infestation, flooding, population pressure and infrequently ethnic conflicts (FDRE 2003a:4 – 5). On the other hand, the major pull factors of resettlement were availability of underutilised land, food self-sufficiency, proper preparation of basic infrastructures, achievement of maximum crop production and productivity by earlier resettlers, provision of agricultural tools and oxen by government and better labour opportunity in the resettlement areas (FDRE 2003b:11)

1.1 Introduction
1.2 Background and Rationale
1.3 Problem Statement
1.4 Research Questions
1.5 Research Objectives
1.6 Scope of the Study
1.7 Limitations of the Study
1.8 Significance of the Study
1.9 Outline of Thesis and Chapter Contents
1.10 Definition of Concepts
1.11 Summary
2.1 Introduction .
2.2 Resettlement: Concepts and Theories
2.3 Sustainable Livelihoods: Concepts and Models
2.4 Resettlement and Livelihoods: Linkages
2.5 Resettlement: An African Experience
2.6 Analytical Framework of the Study
2.7 Summary
3.1 Introduction
3.2 Choice of the Study Areas and Reasons
3.3 Description of the Study Areas
3.4 Research Design
3.5 Models and Key Variable Definitions
3.6 Sample Size and Sampling Techniques
3.7 Data Sources
3.8 Primary Data Collection Methods and Field Work
3.9 Data Coding and Entry
3.10 Data Analysis
3.11 Concern for Validity and Reliability
3.12 Ethical Considerations
3.13 Summary
4.1 Introduction .
4.2 Development Strategies and Policies in Ethiopia
4.3 Trends of Resettlement in Ethiopia: Causes and Consequences
4.4 Resettlement in Amhara and Southern Regions
4.5 Summary
5.1 Introduction
5.2 Respondents’ Profile
5.3 The Rationale behind Resettlement
5.4 Perceptions of Resettlers about Resettlement
5.5 Livelihood Assets of Resettlers
5.6 Livelihood Strategies of Resettlers
5.7 Sustainable Livelihood Outcome Changes
5.8 Summary
6.1 Introduction
6.2 Summary of Findings
6.3 Conclusions
6.4 Recommendations
6.5 Areas for Further Research

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