31 May 2012

Resettlement Planning in a Development Context I - Presentation 4

Impact of Resettlement on Urban Livelihoods

Case study of a railway project. Implications of resettlement away from the area.

 

Urban displacement has long been a challenge and regular feature of urban life. Competition for land because of urbanisation and forced eviction seen as a global problem. Developments are a big cause.

 

Urban development, natural disaster and migration to cities allied to shortages of land increasing displacement. So that the poor are being pushed out of cities.

 

Case study: North South Railway Linkage Project

  • 35000 families displaced from informal settlements
  • Bilateral loan from Korea conditional on adequate resettlement
  • People living within 1m of the railway tracks we all moved
Where did the 35000 families go?

  • Relocated to 11 sites outside of metro Manila
  • Over 7-8 years in multiple phases
  • The biggest site houses approx 7000 families
  • All the sites were remote from where people had lived and worked - over 30km but with poor transport made them remote sites.
  • On top of mountains, near rivers, on rice fields - land not appropriate for housing development and not connected to existing settlements in the area.


  • Resettlers had to repay the National Housing Authority for the housing
  • Many housing were incomplete
  • Many sites we prone to flooding
  • Water, electricity infrastructure incomplete particular first few years.
  • Schools and health clinics constructed but human resources were not developed to run them.
 

Urban poor people manage a complex asset portfolio:

  • Multiple livelihoods - limited opportunities, job insecurity (5 month contracts), poor work conditions
  • Limited resources - financial, social, physical, human,
  • Rely on the informal economy - self employment activities
 

Can create a positive cycle that can lead to these communities accumulating savings and investment however whe resettlement works against this then it can create a downward spiral.

 

Challenges:

  • Livelihood reconstruction - cannot commute, transport take up half their income going to and from Metro Manila, also no formal place of work to commute to, Can we provide livelihood assistance
  • Precarious mode of living
  • Difficulty in providing livelihood programme
 

Need to understand the businesses and investments that people have made and the social and economic networks that they have created

Need to consider their individual and family resources

Need to consider the siting - proximity and connectivity of sites.

 

Q&A

  • Agencies are aware of the issues generated by past resettlements but because of land shortage the agencies feel constrained in how they manage resettlement.
  • Did the agencies try and help to improve people's lives through the resettlement. The resettlement was not seen as a development project, it was simply seen as a housing project and though there were some livelihood and other programmes this was limited.