The impact of refugees on the environment: a case of Karago and Mkugwa refugee settlements in Kibondo district

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University of Dar es Salaam
This piece of study was aimed at finding the universal authenticity of the claim already expressed by some cholars on the refugee-environment debate that refugees are by their nature environmental degraders. On the contrary, findings from the study of Karago and Mkugwa refugee settlements in the Kibondo district of Kigoma region in western Tanzania, do indicate that, compared to the local/indigenous populations, refugees have been able to judiciously utilize the resources available and at the same time rehabilitate and sustainably manage the environment. The situation is partly explained by the following reasons and/or development: Prior preparedness by the local district and regional authorities the UNHCR and all other NGOs involved in the protection and administration of refugee relief in anticipation of the arrival of refugees from the neighbouring countries of Burundi, Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The enactment or institution of mechanism including environmental policy and other administrative interventions that was to mitigate the potential negative environmental impacts of the presence of refugees. Specific education and environmental campaigns aimed at the preservation and conservation of the environment. This study was a baseline study employing both qualitative and quantitative procedure of data collection and analysis. Investigation was carried out in the purposefully selected refugee settlement and the local community areas (Karago and Mkugwa settlements) in Kibondo district. Working from what has been stated above, the study recommends that all parties dealing with the refugee problem should replicate the Kibondo experience in other areas hosting refugees. Lastly, I recommend that further and broader comparative baseline studies involving larger samples of refugees and refugee settlements be made in order to enrich scholarship on the refugee-environmental debate.
Available in print form, East Africana Collection, Dr. Wilbert Chagula Library, Class Mark ( THS EAF GE160.T34J6)
Environmental degradation, Refugee settlements, Karago, Mkugwa, Kibondo District
Joseph, T (2002) The impact of refugees on the environment: a case of Karago and Mkugwa refugee settlements in Kibondo district, Master dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam