Challenges and Opportunities Of Refugee-Host Community Relation In Ethiopia: The Case Of Bambasi Refugee Camp Area In Western Ethiop

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Addis Ababa University


The study was conducted in western Ethiopia, Bambasi refugee camp and its surrounding. The objective of the study is to examine refugees-host community relations focusing on challenges and opportunities. Refugees imposed a variety of social, economic and environmental burdens on host communities; the arrival of refugees also brought some opportunities to the local community. To know more about the situation this study has tried to investigate the socio-cultural, economic and environment challenges of refugees on the host community in the studied area. In order to address the research objectives, qualitative research design was employed. Both primary and secondary data were used. The primary data obtained through four qualitative methods of data collection interviews, focus group discussions, case study and observation. Other data obtained from written sources; books, journals, government and humanitarian organizations reports. The finding of the study indicated, the refugee population in Bambasi area is significantly competing with the local community and posing many challenges on the host communities. It has been generating a variety of challenges on the local community. The local farmers were displaced from their farm land, in which some of them were not compensated for their land; their resources have been stolen by refugees and the local farmers who have some land around the refugee camp have stopped engaging in farming activities. It created survival structural changes like shifting from farming activities to engagement in business activities among the local community. Competing identity and confusion is also there between local and refugees population. The result also shows there are some opportunities operated for the host community after the arrival of refugee. Infrastructure; school, health center, road and water bore distributed to the local community after the arrival of refugee in the area. However, there is disparity between the challenges and opportunities. There is engagement of aid agency and development actors’ in facilitating social cohesion in the area and it is below the expectation of the local communities. The Ethiopian refugee policies are not functional in the area. The encampment refugee policy is not working as far as there is refugee camp in that particular area. it is the entire problem in the camp which pushes refugees to depend on the local resources and leads to compete with local community.



Challenges and Opportunities of Refugee-Host Community Relation in Ethiopia: The Case of Bambasi Refugee Camp Area in Western Ethiopia