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Abstract

Government sponsored resettlement programs implemented in Ethiopia since the 1980s were studied. The results of the study show that the objectives of the resettlement programs of the military regime and the present government are similar. More precisely, both programs aimed at alleviating the problem of recurrent food insecurity, easing overwhelming human and livestock pressure on land and other natural resources, and promoting environmental rehabilitation in famine/drought-prone areas of the country. A critical analysis of the emergency resettlement program of the military government reveals that it was beset with numerous planning and implementation problems. The study indicates also that the emergency resettlement program was more of a top-down exercise in futility because it did not pay due attention to the very people who are the causes and victims of environmental degradation and the consequences of the program on both the environment and the host population. With regard to the current resettlement program, the findings of the study show that the present government's plan of relocating 2.2 million people over a three-year period appears to be an ambitious target when seen from the low implementation capacity of the Regions and the huge financial resources required to undertake the program. Moreover, reports from various sources point to the fact that the current resettlement program lacks preparation and efforts that have been made so far to implement the plan are inadequate.

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