Exploring the conflict between internally displaced persons and host communities in Bulambuli District
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The study explored the causes, preventive and conflict settlement measures amongst IDPs and host communities in Bulambuli Landslide Resettlement Camp with the aim of improving co-existence between the host community and the IDPs. The Resettlement Camp for landslide victims from Mt Elgon districts in Bulambuli district like the case is in most host districts, has witnessed growing hostilities between the ‘new comers’ and the indigenous host community. The purpose of this study was to expose the conflicts, their causes as well as possible mitigation measures. It is my hope that this will motivate the actors such as government, local leaders and the community to harness the different efforts for effective planning and implementation of management measures that foster improved peaceful co-existance between the landslide victims and their hosts. The study was conducted through qualitative methodology using methods such as interviews and focused group discussions (FGD) which enabled the researcher to obtain practical perceptions and opinions in terms of measures towards peaceful co-existance between the host community and IDPs. The findings shows competition for natural resources such as grazing land, firewood, building mateirials by both the host communities and IDPs as the major cause of the conflict. The study also established other causes such as discrimation in social services, relief aid, land issues. It was also revelead that the conflict has affected productivity in the area and caused divisions in once a harmonious Sub County. The findings also shows the gaps in the existing conflict management measures applied where emphasis is on physical infrastructure development like building houses for IDPs rather than tackling underlying issues such as trauma. The study concludes that peaceful co-existance between the host communities and Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Bulambuli is possible if all stakeholders address the underlying causes of the conflict and promote dialogue and community participation in all issues related to resettlement program. Based on these findings, it is recommended that insecurity challenges be handled. It is further recommended that community sensitization and training should be undertaken , increase close coordination between OPM, local government structures and grassroot, prioritize peace building models and embark on joint counselling and provision of psycho-social support to those affected by trauma as the result of landslide disaster experiences amongst IDPs and cattle rustling amongst host community.