Urban Expansion and It's Socio-Economic and Environmental Effect on the Farming Community: The Case Meri

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Addis Ababa University


The Addis Ababa city administration, under proclamation No.3, 1994, established a lease holding system according to which investors can lease land areas for commercial and industrial use . The leased areas are acquired through conversion of agricultural and green land occupied by the farmers living in the surrounding of Addis Ababa . Although the city administration believes that the lease land allocation system boosts the market value and proper exploitation of urban land , most of urban expansion projects tend to aggravate the periphery people's impoverishment . Throughout its history Addis Ababa city has undergone a horizontal expansion pattern. Present expansion program implemented by the city administration is through intervention projects that are large in scale and size. Meri kebele 16 is one of the periphery areas in the city where large projects of residential expansion are being implemented dislocating the farming community from their land This study mainly investigates the effects of the expansion of the city on the socio-economy and environment of the dislocated farmers from Meri To fulfill the above objective, household survey, participatory group discussions, key informants interviews and observation were used to assess the situation. The results of the study indicated that the expansion program implementation was not participatory and have impoverished the farming community. The compensation paid to the dislocated was very low to rehabilitate the farmers and negatively affected the livelihood of the dislocated farming community. Better access to school, electricity and clean water are the few benefits which are acquired as a result of urban expansion. The permanent plant coverage is redu cing from time to time which results in soil degradation and in addition as a result of improper waste management the area is getting polluted. Furthermore, the study revealed that women and children are major victims to livelihood cnsls. The coping mechanism/strategy adopted by the majority of the dislocated farmers is casual that is daily labor, traditional alcohol selling, small trade and farming . Expansion program that may be proposed on, the periphery in the future needs the participation of the community in planning and implementation; so as to reduce the negative effects of dislocation program on the farmers socio-economy and environment.