This study conducted on the area of squatter settlement in Jimma town is aimed to explore the socio-economic factors contributing to squatter settlement and its effect on social, economic and institutional conditions of settler and development of the town. The study was guided by qualitative approach and employed a cross-sectional and phenomenological design. The primary data required for the analysis was collected through key informant interview, focus group discussion, non-participant observation as well as secondary data from document and analyzed by thematic analysis. The finding of this study revealed that, the root cause identified for squatter settlement are shortage of residential house and its consequential high price of house rent, the need of holding large plot of land and inefficient land administration system. The other finding indicated that, squatter settlement has negative impact on both the government and the squatter. It created fear and lack of confidence on the land they hold illegally, poor infrastructure due to lack of government intervention and low social service delivery, social distress within the community. The study also found out that squatting displaces the host ex-farmers from their farmland and leads to consequent poverty and livelihood disasters. It is recommended that, political will in accessing residential land and financial commitment of the government is required. Active participation of the public and abiding legal procedures of getting residential land is vital.
Key words: Informal, misery, squatter, settlement, slum.
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