Resettlement and the Dynamics of Social Integration in Chewaka Resettlement in Ilu Abba Bora Zone, Southwest Ethiopia

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The 2004 resettlement program of the Regional State of Oromia carried out in Chewaka Settlement, lIu Abba Bora zone, has a noble goal of ensuring food self-sufficiency among the people located in chronically food insecure areas of East and West Harerge zones of the region. This is a social study carried out in Chewaka Resettlement Basically. the study in this state-sponsored intra-regional voluntary resettlement program focuses on issues related to the integration of the settlers into the social and physical environment in fheir attempt to be self-supporting citizens. The study tries to assess motIVation of the settlers,' differentials between places of origin and places of destination; the social integration of settlers among themselves and with the host community,' and adaptation of settlers to the physical environment. Based on the ethnographic data illustrated and discussed in the study, settlers in Chewaka were mobilized voluntarily from the aforementioned drought and famine-stricken areas. The recruitments were successful due to the severity of the crises from time to time for a decade. However, the realization of the program in the receiving area had not been found as simple as the selection and transferring of the displacees from their home areas. Hence, the attainment of the very objectives of the program was obstructed by the challenges particularly encountered at the initial resettling stage. In fact, most of the misfortunes could have been avoided. if lessons drawn from previous programs had been utilized,' and advices of scholars in the field of study had been considered. As a result, all the commonly known impoverishments risks of resettlement programs have been registered in Chewaka Nonetheless, the resilience and endurance of the settlers are very promising for the future. In general. the study highlights the factors that facilitate the revival of livelihoods and community life in new social and physical settings.