‘Better to die of landslides than hunger’: Socio-economic and cultural intricacies of resettlement due to climate-induced hazards in Uganda

Article Authors: Serwajja, E., Kisira, Y., and Bamutaze, Y.


Climate-induced migration is increasingly becoming prevalent globally, with migrants often facing innumerable challenges in the new areas of resettlement. This study explores the socio-economic and cultural intricacies of climate-induced migration and resettlement in the mountainous landscapes of Elgon and Rwenzori in Uganda. This study was largely qualitative and the methods of data collection included key informant Interviews and focus group discussions taking into account the different socio-economic classes.

Thematic and content analysis was used to synthesise the collected data. The results revealed mixed perceptions for the people who were displaced in districts the Mountain Elgon and Rwenzori regions. Displacement and resettlement have created some opportunities: housing; opportunity to learn new culture, values and traditions; and access to improved social services. Yet, behind these positive gains lies a host of challenges for both climate-induced migrants and the hosts including disputes over land, unfavourable climate, inadequate and appalling social services for the late arrivals, and housing conditions especially among the resettled migrants in Muhokya camp. Multiple strategies including seasonal migration, return to the landslide and flood prone villages and tree planting have been adopted to navigate some of the challenges that are encountered in the new settlement areas.

This is testament of their continued initiatives in retaining their agency in fighting for the environment crises, even in moments of intense crises. This study largely points to the need for a holistic approach towards climate induced resettlement for a sustainable and resilient program in Uganda.

Bibliographical metadata

Journal International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction
Volume 101
Issue No. 104242
DOI https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijdrr.2024.104242


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