Evaluating the Effects of Refugees’ Settlement on Land Use in Host Communities: a Case Study of Rwamwanja Host Community, Kamwenge, Uganda
Author: Jerome Twimukye
Supervisor: Joseph Ssekandi
This study sought to evaluate the effects of refugees’ settlement on land use in host communities using Rwamwanja host community as the case study. The study was guided by three objectives which included indentifying Land conflicts between refugees and host communities, determining infrastructure developments on land of host communities and determining the effect of refugees on host communities on land and forest cover in Rwamwanja camp.
The study adopted a case study design with a cross sectional time dimension and data collected from a sample of 115 respondents. Semi structured questionnaires, interview guide and documentary review guide and focus group discussions were used in the study. Data was analysed and findings were presented in a tabular format displaying frequencies, percentages, Qualitative findings were presented in themes in a narrative form.
The study findings revealed that the refugee settlements in Rwamwanja were characterized by planned rural settlement with the nature of settlement mainly directed through official assistance by the Government of Uganda.
The study also established that refugee settlements had a positive infrastructural impact in the Rwamwanja community reflected by improvement in earnings from business and trade, employment, improved security and social relations.
It was also established that some negative social impacts of refugees’ settlement were noted such as conflicts on land with local people. Furthermore, the study established that majority of the host community lost land and forest cover upon the arrival of refugees. The study therefore recommends that the Government of Uganda put in place stringent measures against environmental damage by refugees, it should implement mechanisms to ensure that host community take advantage of facilities availed and cost effective energy efficient cooking devices are utilized to curb on environmental degradation.