The impact of refugees resource use on forest and agricultural land: A case study of Itula Sub County, Moyo District, Northern Uganda
Eiyo, Patricia Frances
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Moyo district is a small sparsely populated area in the West Nile region that has been hit by an influx of refugees escaping a two-decade war between the Government of Sudan and the rebel group Sudan Peoples’ Liberation Army in Southern Sudan. The first refugees were registered in 1987, the majority of whom are from Southern Sudan. The general objective of this study was to determine the impact of refugee settlement on forestry and Agricultural land resources. The specific objectives were to establish the main livelihood activities carried out by the refugees to assess the impact of refugee communities on forestry and agricultural land utilization; and to examine the relationship between the refugees and the host communities on forest and agricultural land utilization. A sample size of 200 respondents was drawn from the refugee community while 50 was from host communities. Interviews, Questionnaires and focus group discussions were used as data collection techniques to obtain information. A two stage random sampling procedure was used. The SPSS computer package was used for data analysis. The results show that a number of activities undertaken by the refugees have immense pressure on the environment. In spite of the numerous efforts by NGOs and the local leadership to promote environmental conservation, the capacity of the organizations and the local government to address environmental concerns of such magnitude is still in balance. Priority should be given in addressing environmental concerns, availing information, effective planning and integration of environmental concerns in all development programmes.