Refugee protection and environment in mid-western Uganda case study of Kiryandongo Refugee Settlement Masindi District

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Kampala International University, College of Humanities and Social Sciences
Uganda being a member of the International community, surrounded by conflict prone neighbors with unsecured borders, is consequently over burdened with the stress of hosting refugees generated from her neighboring countries and beyond. The topic of study was about the refugee’s protection and Environment. This study was therefore undertaken to establish the effectiveness of Refugee protect in relation to the environmental conservation in Kiryandongo refugee settlement. Cross-sectional Survey design was used because the data were collected one time from sampled population of the refugee and local Ugandans living within and around refugee settlement. Data were gathered by using open ended questionnaire instruments, informant interviews for key respondents, focus group discussions and observation methods. The total sample size of (115) included the respondents to the questionnaires and interviews was used to provide information for the study The main finding of the research was that; the activities of the refugees such as charcoal burning, clearing forest vegetation and bricks production among others have contributed negatively in the destruction of the natural vegetation cover and subsequently in soil erosion. These destructive activities resulted from poverty, lack of incentives to the refugees to conserve the environment they are living in and lack of sensitization of refugees and policy enforcement regime. It is therefore concluded that the refugees’ effect on the environment is a serious challenge which deserves a multipronged intervention mechanism from all relevant actors in order to ensure and further nurture the sustainability of the current settlement policy for refugees being implemented in Uganda. Several recommendations were made to specific authorities that include carrying out environmental audit assessment in the Kiryandongo refugee settlement areas, controlling and managing conflicts arising from competition over natural resources use, implementing the national environmental standards in order to control further destruction of the refugee camps and promoting tree planting programme.
A thesis submitted to the school of post graduate studies in partial fulfillment for the requirement of the award of the degree of Master of Arts in public policy and management of Kampala International University (KIU)
Refugee protection, Environment