Population displacement in peri-urban areas: the case study of Mbeya town

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University of Dar es Salaam
This study examines population displacement in peri-urban areas. The causes of displacement, destinations of the displaced and their problems are examined. The findings indicate that peri-urban dwellers are of mixed ethnic groups due to migration process and the migrants come from both urban and rural areas. However a large proportion of migrants come from rural areas. The number of migrants (52.4%) is more than that of non migrants (47.6%). Occupation-wise the majority are farmers (87.7%) while the remaining (12.3%) are wage employees, businessmen/women and part time farmers. The urban residents as well as peri-urban dwellers have farms in peri-urban areas. This makes the demand for land in peri-urban areas to be high so that there is no free land. As a result renting and hiring is very common in peri-urban areas. Land is rented from incomplete government projects and individuals who have large land or those who fail to utilize all their land due to lack of inputs. The main cause of population displacement is the decrease of landholdings, for example when land owned now is compared to land owned in the past, the size of landholdings has decreased by 51.7%. Land decreases due to subdivision and distribution among children, selling and reclassification into urban areas and renting. Land policies and their implementation as well as education and income also lead to displacement. The displaced persons move to other peri-urban, hinterland or urban centre. The proportion of the displaced persons which goes to urban centre is higher than that which goes to the hinterland. Population displacement creates landless, jobless, homelessness, underfeeding and economically marginalised people, who are likely to be the source of environmental degradation in the destination areas. The displaced also face problems of low rates and delayed payments of compensation and sometimes they are not compensated at all. As a result of the above outlined problems the displaced persons do various activities in order to supplement their income some of these are irrigation farming, distant farming, casual labour, petty business, wage employment, selling property, hiring land and renting land. In general, it can be concluded that development induced displacement causes impoverishmen
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Tanzania, Mbeya town, Migration, Internal
Bukuku, A. M. K. (1996) Population displacement in peri-urban areas: the case study of Mbeya town, Masters’ dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam. Available at (