Resisting resettlement : factors underlying the return of the Bududa 2010 mudslide survivors resettled in Kiryandongo Bududa district
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The main objective of the study was to analyze the factors underlying the return of the Bududa mudslide survivors resettled in Kiryandongo following the 2010 mudslide in Bukalasi Sub-County in Bududa district. The study was guided by four objectives that included; (i) to assess the level of participation of returnees in resettlement plans, (ii) to identify the social, economic and cultural factors that influenced returnees’ response to government disaster resettlement plan, (iii) to examine the challenges faced by the returnees in Bukalasi sub county and (iv) to identify the mitigating strategies for mudslide returnees to improve on their welfare in Bukalasi. A case study research design was used. The study predominantly employed a qualitative approach in order to explore the deeper perceptions of the returnees of 2010 mudslide on the government resettlement plans and programs. A sample size of 34 primary respondents and 15 key informant interviews were selected. Findings revealed that government and NGOs implementing resettlement plans and programs in Bukalasi sub-county, Bududa district do not necessarily work together with the stakeholders on ground in order to make sure that their views and ideas are incorporated in the planning and implementation processes. It was revealed that the level of community involvement was low as most of community members that were resettled were not involved in the planning of their resettlement process. The resettlement process was more of leader based than community members led. Some people delaying to respond to resettlement call because of cultural factors, some people were too attached to their cultural roots that felt could not just leave them behind. It was also found out that people had economic ties with their previous communities before resettlement and after resettlement were unable to continue with their business ventures. The resettled people did not find social amenities in the new place. In the place where people were resettled there was no enough food for the new community members. As mitigation measures the local authorities tried to empower the local community members with some seedlings of trees so as to manage the future landslides. It is thus recommended that resettlement plans and programs irrespective of how emergent they could be, should involve all primary stakeholders. Continuous sensitization of the people about the signs of the mudslides and encouraging them to settle in places that are a bit safer should be emphasized. The study also recommends that future researchers should conduct a purely qualitative research in its entirety to gain more insights on the returnees’ perceptions on the 2010 mudslides.