The impact of refugees on the socio-economic development of rural community in Kibondo district

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University of Dar es Salaam
This study investigated the impact of refugees on the socio-economic development of the rural communities in Kibondo district. It also explored the cause and effect of refugees’ presence in the area particularly in the present time when there is a shift in the refugee policies in Tanzania. The study involved 100 respondents from two selected villages, one refugee camp and it took place between September and November. The sampling procedures involved both simple random and purposeful sampling. The purposeful sampling was used to determine the two sampled villages and a camp while simple random sampling was used in determining the sample elements. The method of data analysis was descriptive in nature being influenced by the smallness of the sample size used. The study reveals that the forces behind refugeeism in Burundi are multiple and complex but behind them is the unequal access to economic resources which was historically created by both feudal and imperialistic colonial rulers. This has evolved throughout the time manifesting itself into ethnic, political and civil disorders that in turn have produced influxes of refugees among whom are in Kibondo district. Furthermore, it has been found that the presence of refugees in the area under the current containment policy has produced both negative and positive socio-economic impacts. In comparison, the negatives (62%) outweigh the positives (2%) though there are some people (36%) who have a mixed feeling. This is more evident to villagers close to refugee camps than those far from the camps. The negative impacts predominate over the positives due to the fact that the policy in practice impedes on the normal interaction between the host and refugees communities. At the same time the implementation of the policy together with the reduced rate of flows of assistance from donors in refugee camps force the poverty stricken rural villagers to support the poor refugees and hence becoming a burden to them than benefit. Given the current trends of conflicts going on in many African states especially in the Great lakes region, it is suggested that the Tanzanian government and the international communities at large should establish proper planning before and during the refugees presence in the country to avoid concentrating a large group of refugees in a small area as it has happened in Kibondo district. In addition, there is a need for the government to coordinate properly the donor activities conducted in the refugees affected areas in order to make sure that the process of compensation, which aims at benefiting all natives in the refugees affected areas are evenly distributed to all affected populations as well as making sure that socio-economic services established by the relief agencies benefit both communities.
Available in printed form, East Africana Collection, Dr. Wilbert Chagula Library, Class mark (THS EAF HV640.4.T34M8)
Refugees, Impact of, Social development, Economic development, Rural,, community, Kibondo District
Musana, E. Y (2004) The impact of refugees on the socio-economic development of rural community in Kibondo district. Master dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam. Dar es Salaam.