The Contributions of Villagization Program to the Lives of Villagers: The Case of GOG WOREDA, Gambella Regional State, Since 2010/11.

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Addis Ababa University


The objective of this study is to assess and describe the contributions that villagization has made to the lives of the inhabitants of Dipach, Jangjor and Awkoy villages in Gog woreda of Gambella regional state. The study is qualitative research and has employed a single instrumental case study. This study is also cross-sectional since it was conducted once. The participants of this research,who were selected based on data saturation, were the villagers affected by villagization which was implemented in the area. The woreda government officials with the knowledge of the implemented villagization also took part in this study as key informants. The data were collected using in-depth interviews, focus group discussions, key informant interviews, observation and document review and analyzed by employing thematic analysis method. The data collection started in 25th February, 2017 and ended in 31st March, 2017. The study revealed that villagers of the three villages had tough lives before villagization. They had a very limited access to social services like health, clean water, education, mill and transportation services. They also had poor communication and interaction with one another, including with the government because they were scattered and far away. They faced challenges in terms of security and lacked protection. Women also faced challenges in terms of gender violence and high work load because of the distance of social services. The only good thing about this life was farming since people had fertile lands. But, when villagization was implemented, the lives of the villagers improved in that they started to have a better access to social services. The study showed that villagization was implemented voluntarily and based on the consent of the local people. No one was forcibly relocated. People now have a better communication and interaction. Businesses also developed. The study showed that there is a harmony and an improved security in the villages. Villagers are happy about villagization due to the positive changes though they are facing some challenges which include the inability to farm like before and the decline in production. The other challenge is the distance between villages and the farmlands in the fields. Villagers think that villagization would have been very good if it was implemented by providing the necessary services first. However, it is possible to conclude that villagization has significantly improved the lives of the villagers by bringing positive changes which did not exist before. This study has implication for service, policy, research and education and can be used for intervention purposes. It urges service providers to reconsider the issue of basic services and provide additional ones to the relocated people. The study serves as a basis for future policy making and influences policy makers when designing policies involving population relocation. This study shows the need for further study on villagization in relation to its positive aspects and can be used as a baseline for another research on villagization. The study also has an important implication for social work education in that it can provide valuable information and be used in migration education. It enhances the knowledge on population relocation and helps others to learn about the significance of villagization in improving the lives of scattered rural people. Key Words: Villagization, Villager, Social Services, Scattered Settlement, Gog Woreda



Villagization, Villager, Social Services, Scattered Settlement, Gog Woreda