Urban Expansion and the Neigh bourhoods: The Case of Bishoftu Town, East Shewa Zone, Oromia Regional

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In this contemporary world, urban expansion is a common phenomenon in both developed and developing countries. In developed countries, it is associated with economic advancement and urbancentres are seen as engine of growth enhancing rural development by creating market for agricultural products and providing agricultural inputs for more productivity. However, in developing countries both the causes and consequences of urban expansion are mixed involving both positive and negative aspects. Ethiopia, being one of the developing countries, is not exceptional to the urban expansion phenomena occurred in other developing countries. The major factors contributing for rapid urban expansion in Ethiopia are higher natural population growth, rural to urban migration and spatial urban development. Bishoftu Town is one of the most expanding Towns in the country. It has geographic coverage of 3280 hectares in 1984; it grew to 4520 hectares in 2005 and currently it occupies 9511 hectares of spatial coverage. This study aimed at examining the expansion of Bishoftu Town and overall consequences on neighboring farmers, particularly on displaced farmers. This study has employed case study method backed by tools such as open-ended interview guided questionnaires, semi-structured interviews, and focus group discussions. There were 1480 displaced farmers since 2005 from which the sample size of 1 48 (10 percent) was taken. Since the dislocated farming community are sparsely populated, the researcher has employed snow-ball sampling technique for its ability to address the respondents by creating network. The result of the study indicated that urban expansion program around Bishoftu was not participatory, people were not given awareness, and the dislocated households did not have opportunity to bargain in the determination of the amount and kinds of compensation and calculating the value of assets. The compensation package provided so far did not capacitate the dislocated farming community around the Town The study reveals that, the community were not given technical training and other advisory services and as a result consuming the money paid the farmers are falling into poverty. Urban expansion, displacement and compensation program that may be proposed in the future needs to adequately aware and involve the community and compensation should be revised both in kind and amount involving skill development and other training and follow up after dislocation



Bishoftu Town, Oromia Regional