International Journal of
Sociology and Anthropology

  • Abbreviation: Int. J. Sociol. Anthropol.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2006-988X
  • DOI: 10.5897/IJSA
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 321

Full Length Research Paper

Socio-cultural and economic impacts of development induced displacement on resettled people: The case of Welkayt Sugar Factory in Tigray Region, Ethiopia

Bereket Godifay Kahsay
  • Bereket Godifay Kahsay
  • Department of Anthropology, Institute of Paleoenvironment and Heritage Conservation (IPHC) Mekelle University, P.O Box - 231 Mekelle, Ethiopia.
  • Google Scholar

  •  Received: 31 August 2020
  •  Accepted: 29 October 2020
  •  Published: 31 October 2020


This study was conducted in the Tigray region of Ethiopia to assess the socio-cultural and economic impacts on the project affected people after their displacement that occurred through the establishment of the Welkayt sugar factory development project. Specifically, the study aimed at examining the socio-cultural situation of the displaced people after their displacement and assessing the economic consequences of the development induced displacement on the livelihoods of the displaced people. To meet the study purposes, household survey, focus group discussions, interviews, and observations were employed to collect primary data. The research design was descriptive, with some descriptive statistics gathered through qualitative survey presented to supplement the study findings. The research approach was qualitative. Since many of the sociocultural and economic impacts resemble the risks contained within the impoverishment risks reduction model, this study has applied the impoverishment risks reduction (IRR) model to see the impacts of the Welkayt sugar development project on resettled people. However, other cultural components which are not covered in the model such as religion and identity are also considered in the research. The study shows that socio-cultural situation of displaced people mainly language and identity seems unchanged after the resettlement. However, religious aspects, settlement pattern, and social structures are fragmented. The impoverishment risks, joblessness, social disarticulation, marginalization, and food insecurity have increased after the resettlement indicating that the displaced people are underprivileged. Although landlessness, homelessness, and expropriation have slight increment after the displacement, the mobility risk has been alleviated and that the project affected people are even in a better position after the relocation. Intervention of development projects to improve the livelihoods and foods security of the displaced people, timely delivery of promised compensations, and other studies on ecological enquiry, psychological study, and human right issues are recommended.  


Key words: Development-induced, displacement, socio-cultural, economic, impact.