Factors that influence refugee household food and livelihood security inUganda
The reasons some households are food insecure are rooted in the ways entire livelihood systems have changed and adapted, or failed to adapt, to challenges from the ecological and economic environment, including shocks such as drought. Food security is thususefully seen as one important element of a sustainable livelihood
Uganda like many African countries is a highly agricultural one. For many countries in Africa,whether or they rely on agriculture, is the fact that natural resource utilization forms a big part of economic development and livelihoods for individuals, groups and entire nations. A greater partof earnings derived are from activities that exploit natural resources within such nations. Foodinsecurity has become a global concern in the recent past with the rise in food prices andincreasing patterns of climatic change that affect food production, distribution, prices(affordability), despite efforts to try and deal with it, for example, through the introduction of Genetically Modified plant/animal species or try and close the gap in output available to meet thedemand of the world¶s population. Unpredictable climatic modes means that drought, highrainfall amounts, floods, among other catastrophes are bound to affect production, distributionand access to food by entire populations. Given this backdrop, whatever affects agriculturalactivities and agriculture as sector are bound to affect household food and livelihood security,although this does not mean that households can not survive through other activities that canenable them to earn a living when they used their assets, capabilities and capital.The 1951 UN Convention on Refugees defines a Refugee as;
a person who owing to well- founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality and isunable, or owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country.
Sebba (2006) has noted that the refugee problem in Uganda dates back as far as the 1950s.Refugees in Uganda are settled in gazetted areas in close proximity to the local populations. Themost common nationalities are the Sudanese, Congolese, Rwandese, people from Burundi,Ethiopia, Eritrea and Somalia. Most of these have come in as a product of war/civil war in part of or the entire countries of origins which threatened their physical life and liberties. Settlementsinclude; Nakivale, Oruchinga, Kyaka I and II in southwestern Uganda; Rhino camp, Imvepi andIkafe in northern Uganda; and Kiryandongo and Kyangwali in central Uganda.
All these are inrural settings whose inhabitants are predominant agricultural (peasant or pastoral). However,these are only a fraction of the entire population as there are some refugees in urban centers likeKampala and a number of those who because they may not have gone through the statusdetermination process, may opt for self settlement as a solution to their problem of forced
(Eds), S. D. a. S. M. (2001). Food Security on Sub-Saharan Africa, University of Natal Press and ITDG London.
Article 1, 1951 UN Convention on Refugees
Sebba, K. R. (July, 2006). New Issues in Refugee Research: Land conflicts and their impact on refugee women'slivelihoods in southwestern Uganda UNHCR