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Hamilton College

Publication Date

Spring 2018

Program Name

Uganda: Development Studies


The refugee population in Uganda is the largest in Africa, more than 1.3 million in size and growing by 100,000 per year. The demand for cooking fuel and building material results a continuous degradation of Uganda’s forests and protected areas. Refugee settlement which often employ short term management to cater to refugee needs, are hotspots of forest clearing. Forest management and environmental conservation of Kyangwali refugee settlement was evaluated, during a five-week practicum with the Environment and livelihoods department at Action Africa Help. The availability, accessibility and affordability of forest resources using GIS mapping, household surveys, informal interviews and observation. The demand for forest resources was found to be significantly higher than the supply, leading to a high prevalence of illegal encroachment into Bugoma Forest Reserve (Survey, 2018). Limited access to firewood required refugee to spend more than two hours daily on firewood collection. Due to administrative backlash, cases of unethical, behavior by aid workers were observed, leading to a disruption of the refugee-worker relationship. A comprehensive implementation of sustainability initiatives and a reform of organization policy, are necessary to realize the goal of long-term sustainability of forest resources in Kyangwali refugee settlement.


African Studies | Family, Life Course, and Society | Food Security | Migration Studies | Place and Environment | Work, Economy and Organizations


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