Urban Development-Induced Displacement: The Case of Displaced Rural Househlds Surrounding Debre Berhan Town, Amhara Region, Ethiopia

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Addis Ababa University


This study set out to explore the experience of rural households displaced by urban development. To this end the study was conducted on rural households displaced from their farmland in Debre Berhan town to identify their experiences, what they lost and gained following the urban expansion, livelihood strategies of the displaced households before and after displacement, the social bond situations of the affected people after displacement and the kind of support provided by the government and other non-governmental organizations to rebuild the livelihood base of displaced rural households. Qualitative research approach was employed to collect and analyze the data needed to address the research objectives. Cross sectional research design also used to know displaced people‟s perception and experience towards the issue. Accordingly, during the period between 15 February and 30 March 2019, in-depth were conducted with 18 displaced individuals. In addition, two FGDs were conducted with 12 displaced household heads. Besides, KIIs were conducted with 2 agricultural office experts, 2 community leaders and 3 kebele leaders. The study found that the implementation of urban expansion and development program was not participatory; it marginalized the displaced people in terms of decision-making. The expansion program has positive and negative impacts directly or indirectly on the lives of the displaced households. Displaced households employed various livelihood strategies before and after urban expansion. After displacement, households became engaged in non-agricultural activities. Diversifying and undertaking agricultural with non-agricultural activities are the main coping mechanisms employed by displaced households to cope with changes in their livelihood. Low educational skill, gender, health, lack of capacity building training and problems related to implementation of the residential master plan were also factors affecting displaced households livelihoods. The study further revealed that the social bond situations of the displaced households were slightly changed due to indirect negative impacts of urban expansion. This is to mean that the reduction of crop production due to farmland loss affects the displaced households‟ involvement in traditional social associations‟ particularly in their work-based and religious-based associations. Moreover, the availability of different governmental and non-governmental institutions that support in rebuilding the displaced households livelihood were found to be minimal. Key words: Displacement, Expansion, household, livelihood



Displacement, Expansion, household, livelihood