CHAPTER 3: THE RESEARCH METHODOLOGY3.0 Introduction
This chapter describes the methodological approach used in this research study. The study was conducted using a mixed method approach in which both qualitative and quantitative data was collected and triangulated. This was mainly because the study intended to examine refugee livelihoods opportunities and challenges they face in Tongogara camp, to investigate livelihoods intervention initiatives by development agencies and assessing their effectiveness in improving refugees’ well-being. This chapter presents the research design, data collection instruments, target population, sampling and size, data analysis and ethical consideration. The data was collected during the months from January to April 2018.
3.1 Research Design
This study utilized a mixed method approach in collecting data in which both qualitative and quantitative data was collected and triangulated. Quantitative data was obtained using questionnaire surveys while qualitative data was obtained using semi-structured interviews and focus group discussions. The reason behind applying a mixed method approach was because questionnaires are unable to gather in-depth information, hence qualitative research methods were applied to validate findings from the questionnaire surveys, since qualitative methods offered room for clarification or probing to both interviewer and interviewee. Focus group discussions were conducted with two groups of 10 members of refugees in the camp. This allowed the researcher to gather more information on their perceptions, attitudes and experiences with regards to their livelihoods opportunities and challenges they face in a faster way than carrying out individual interviews with respondents. Semi-structured interview guides were administered to gather supporting information from the government officials; that are from the Department of Social Welfare (DSW), UNHCR, JRS, TDH, Goal Zimbabwe and the Immigration department officials to supplement gathered information from the administered questionnaires to refugees.
3.2 Target PopulationThis research study targeted refugees living in Tongogara Refugee Camp and Camp Administrator in the DSW, Goal Zimbabwe, UNHCR, Jesuit Refugee Services, Immigration department and Terres De Homme working with refugees as key informants to supplement the data. Mhlanga and Zengeya (2016) states that population in Tongogara refugee camp had rose to 9 493 refugees and majority of these refugees 80 percent are from DRC while 9 percent are from Rwanda, 8 percent from Burundi and 3 percent are from other countries namely Ivory Coast, Ghana, Mali, Somalia, Ethiopia, Egypt and others. According to the UNHCR statistical report by the last quarter of the year 2017, the number of refugees residing in the settlement had increased to 11, 597. Hence given the fact that the settlement comprises of many people, it was impossible for the researcher to gather information from each individual that resides in the area. Hence a small number was sampled that was considered to be a representative number of the whole population of both women and men found in the camp. This was done according to the percentages of the people found in the area where the largest number was from the DRC community.
3.3 Sampling Procedure and SizeThe stratified sampling method was applied in this research study to collect data from the refugees in the settlement. According to Bryman (2012) stratified sampling is a method used to ensure that participants are proportionally distributed according to the population size. This sampling method allowed the researcher to divide the population into separate strata basing on their nationalities. Hence, in this case one group comprised of people from DRC (20) respondents, Rwanda (15) respondents, Burundi (10) respondents and others nationalities which have a very little population in the camp comprised of (5) respondents. All in all there were four (4) groups that the researcher focused on. Purposive sampling method was applied to choose respondents from different nationalities through the help of the community leaders and was also used to collect data from key informants. This sampling method enabled the researcher to select key informants who are known who provided her with the needed information. The size of key informants consisted of seven informants but upon arrival at the study community it was discovered that some organisations had been merged with other departments and others dismissed from working in the community and the number of key informants was decreased to six; a representative was chosen from Department of Social Welfare, Immigration department, Goal Zimbabwe, Jesuit Refugee Services, Terres De Homme and UNHCR who are working with the refugees. All in all targeted respondents were fifty-six, six key informants and fifty (50) refugee families living in the Tongogara refugee camp.
3.4 Data Collection Instruments3.4.1 Primary Forms of Data Collection188.8.131.52 Questionnaire Surveys
In this study primary data was collected using questionnaire surveys that were distributed amongst the selected households of participants. The questionnaires consisted of both open and closed ended questions. The purpose for administering the questionnaires was to obtain more information regarding livelihoods opportunities and challenges that are faced by refugees during their stay in Tongogara camp, in a more limited time and without the presence of the researcher. This research instrument enabled the researcher to gather more information from different respondents at their own convenient times and the researcher collected them whenever they would have been completed. However, the researcher ended up administering the questionnaires herself to some respondents after they had shown their unwillingness to fill the questionnaires by themselves.
184.108.40.206 Semi-Structured Interviews
The researcher chose to make use of the semi-structured interviews as a way of probing more and asked specific questions that related to research questions to key informant so as to complement information that was gathered from the participants’ through questionnaires and focus group discussions. The key informants who were interviewed were the officials from the department of social welfare (DSW), Immigration department, UNHCR, Jesuit Refugee Services (JRS), Terres De Homme (TDH) officials and Goal Zimbabwe. In this case the researcher asked for an appointment for scheduling the interviews with these officials each at their own convenient time so as not to affect them from doing their work. This was made possible with the cooperation from each department by accepting to share their views with the researcher on fulfilling the objectives of this study. This method of data collection enabled the researcher to collect information on key informants’ ideas and experience on the refugees’ livelihoods opportunities and challenges while in the camp, livelihoods interventions initiatives available to refugees and the effectiveness these livelihoods interventions in improving refugees’ well-being. Therefore, this method gave the researcher more insights on issues not gathered by the questionnaires.
220.127.116.11 Focus Group Discussions (FGDs)
Also focus group discussions were administered in this study as another instrument of data collection. FGDs were facilitated by the researcher herself in order to get different views from different people in the community with regard to the study objectives. This method was employed to enable the researcher get an in-depth understanding of the livelihoods opportunities and challenges faced by refugees living in Tongogara camp, livelihoods intervention initiatives brought by different development agencies and their effectiveness in improving refugees’ well-being.
FGDs participants were chosen from those who had agreed to take part in the study and who were all registered as refugees who are 18 years old and above. There were two groups which were made up of 10 participants and these discussions each group had 30-45 minutes to discuss crucial issues on their experiences with livelihoods opportunities and challenges faced, intervention initiatives brought by development agencies and their effectiveness in improving refugees’ well-being. FGDs were conducted on 20 February 2018 and 21 February 2018; and nationalities represented were Rwanda, Burundi, Ethiopia and the majority from DRC.
3.4.2 Secondary Forms of Data Collection
In need of clearly understanding the livelihoods challenges and survival strategies of the refugees in their host countries, the researcher made use of the secondary information to supplement the primary information that was collected and in making comparison of both the information gathered on the ground and that which is already in the field. The secondary data was collected from published and unpublished sources which included books, official reports, journals, articles, refugee agencies’ websites and other internet sources.
3.5 Entry into the CommunityThe researcher sought for the permission to conduct the research within the refugees living in Tongogara Refugee Camp from the Commissioner for Refugees. Upon arriving at the study community, permission was sought from the Camp Administrator who authorized this research study to be conducted from the community and this gave assurance to the community members from having suspicions of the purpose of the study; and hence made the study to be conducted without hindrances from any other person in the community and with support from refugees community leaders this study was made successful.
3.6 Data AnalysisData gathered through questionnaires and interviews was coded whereby similar information were grouped together in order to draw meanings from the data. Themes were also drawn from the data which allowed an in-depth thematic presentation and analysis of data. Questionnaires consisted of both open-ended and closed questions that with open-ended questions the researcher classified them after getting answers to the questions to enable data analyses using Microsoft Excel which needs variable in numerical form. Tables were used in data presentation and analyses.
3.7 Ethical ConsiderationThe main purpose of research ethics is to protect the welfare of the research participants as posed by Blanche et al (2009:56). Ethics were considered in this study such as considering social values, respect for the participants, informed consent as well as ensuring confidentiality and anonymity of the participants as these research ethics are essential components that every researcher should respect and uphold as long as one is dealing with humans and their cultures.
Given that the study community is a well protected community because of their status situation, the researcher sought for a letter of legitimation from the College of Business, Peace, Leadership and Governance and also obtained a research clearance from Africa University’s Ethical Board. Also permission from the Commissioner for Refugees and Camp Administrator was acquired before commencing the research study so as to get consent for the entry into the community.
Before conducting the study that is before administering my questionnaires and interviews, the participants were firstly briefed by the researcher on the objectives of the research and were clearly informed that, the study was strictly for academic purpose and their names were not to be disclosed to anyone or even written in the research findings and neither be published. Also participation in this research study was entirely voluntary, such that in any situation they felt uncomfortable with the question they should feel free not to respond and if they wanted to withdraw they were free to do so as the researcher respected participant’s views and feelings towards this study. After having briefed all participants to the objectives of the study, an informed consent form was presented to them that required them to sign before commencing the discussions as giving their consent to participate in the study.
3.8 SummaryThe research methodology used in this study enable the researcher to gather more information as was the intention of the researcher. However, a number of challenges were faced; for instance some of the key informants had very little time to accommodate the researcher, but the researcher managed the little time that was dedicated to the study and appreciated the fact that the most important information that was needed was offered by the key informants in their short time. Also some participants could not be available at the scheduled time which made the researcher to reschedule so as to be able to meet with all the participants at their convenient time. The mixed method that was adopted for this study, allowed the triangulation of the gathered information that ensured findings reliability and credibility; and this also deepened and widened the researchers understanding of this study.
CHAPTER FOUR: DATA PRESENTATION, ANALYSIS AND INTERPRETATION4.1 Introduction
This chapter presents research findings from the collected data from the refugees found in Tongogara refugee camp (TRC). The camp is comprised of majority people from DRC, Rwanda, Burundi and other minority people from countries such as Sudan, Somalia, and Ethiopia etc. The objectives of this study were to understand refugee livelihoods opportunities and challenges faced by refugees in Tongogara, also to identify livelihood interventions initiatives made and their effectiveness in improving refugees’ well-being.
4.2 Presentation of Findings
4.3 Drivers of VulnerabilityHuman beings have always been moving from one place to another and from country to another due to different factors with different reasons, some move because of economic, religious, political and social reasons. The research findings indicated that majority of refugees currently residing in the Tongogara refugee camp were forced to leave their countries of origin to a second or third country mainly because of political insecurities and these include civil wars, conflicts, persecution and the absence of political rights.
4.3.1 Political Causes of Forced Displacement
The research findings revealed that, quite a number of refugees found in Tongogara refugee camp left their countries and found their way to Zimbabwe because of mainly political unrest/insecurities which in some cases are as a result of unending civil wars and conflicts existing in their home countries. This happens to be the case of most conventional refugees who include DRCs, Rwandese, Burundians, Sudanese, Somalis, Ethiopians and the Mozambican refugees as well; with very few who mentioned different reasons for leaving their countries which have nothing associated with politics.
Respondents both from focus group discussions and the self-administered questionnaires indicated that insecurity was the main pushing factor that led to their migration. A Rwandese father of 6 children narrated his story as that:
“I was arrested two times in my country and the second time when I was released from the prison, I went straight to my place but as I got home the place looked deserted and I could not see my wife and my two kids. My three neighbours came to receive me and when I asked about my family no one was answering me, I became furious and that is when they showed me where they had buried my wife and kids. I could not believe what my eyes were seeing until one of my brothers who stays few kilometres arrived and confirmed that it was true that when I was away gunshots were heard at my place and after the incident everyone at my place was found dead. I sought refuge in town for few months and when I saw that unrest went on in our village I decided to find refuge out of my country so that they don’t follow me and that is why today am staying in this camp from 2002” (FGDs 1, 20 February 2018).
Similarly, another respondent during self-administering questionnaire emphasized that he had left his country of origin because of being insecure in his community and the country at large because of his profession and popularity before the genocide in Rwanda, and this posed a threat to his security after genocide war. These were his exact words as he narrated his story:
“I was working for the global fund as a Project Officer which made me much visible in my community since I always received proposals for funds from different stakeholders in the country and I was running my own projects on the other side. So after genocide, I was jailed for the period of nine years being accused of taking part in the genocide that took place in our country and upon my freedom, they were about to put me back in the prison and this forced me to seek for a safer place far from my country to stay, I passed through Tanzania, Kenya and later found my way to Zimbabwe in 2009” (19 February, 2018).
From the research findings, 8 out of 50 respondents mentioned insecurities being their major drivers to vulnerability. Despite having overt wars that are very much visible people continues to suffer from different conflicts that are invisible.
18.104.22.168 Civil Wars
Armed conflicts and civil wars have different causes depending on where they are happening and what people’s interests are at that period of time, but mostly these wars and conflicts are influenced by political issues or factors in that community. These conflicts happens maybe between two different communities or within the country amongst the political parties who will be fighting for the position of ruling the nation or because of natural minerals in the country leading to forced displacement and migration of people. The majority of the conventional refugees found in the Tongogara refugee camp left their countries of origins because of protracted civil wars and armed conflicts found in their countries. Giving a good example of the countries in the Great Lakes i.e. Rwanda, Burundi and DRC, many people have been affected by these wars such that more people are still moving out of the region because of these wars and conflicts. A Congolese participant currently staying in TRC stated that, he had run away from his home country because of unending wars between the M23 rebels and the DRC government that have led to individual insecurities, persecution and abuse with which he was a victim. A lot of Congolese from the Eastern part of the country have left the country for the same reasons and found refuge across Africa and Europe.
Persecution comes in different forms such as harassment, discrimination and torture of people because of having disagreements with the government (ruling party), ethnic background or tribes and even religious belief differences. The respondents during FGDs emphasized on ethnic discrimination and persecutions as the main reason for many Rwandese and Burundian people leaving their home country seeking refuge in other countries. They noted that ethnic discrimination have continued to be a greater problem from the pre-genocide and post-genocide period in Rwanda. The problem persisted even after the 1994 genocide war which took lives of many Tutsis, so Hutus are blamed for planning and implementing genocide in the country such that Hutus are discriminated and many are put in jail for crimes they did not commit. This has and is still affecting even Hutus who were born after the genocide, and the government of Rwanda has done nothing to resolve the issue since after the war no single Tutsi has ever been jailed for committing genocide atrocities but only Hutus are suffering for that.
4.3.2 Witchcraft AccusationQuestionnaire results indicated cases of witchcraft accusation being the reasons for forced migration of some refugees found in Tongogara camp. A single mother taking care of her children in Tongogara stated her reasons for displacement being of witchcraft accusations from her immediate family members. She stated that; after some years in her marriage living happily with her loving husband, her in-laws started hating her such that they accused her of being a witch and no one could visit her home anymore and in case they visited, they could not even drink water from her house. Her husband confirmed about her being a witch and told her that they were not quite sure if she did not have a hand in all deaths in their family, so when the news spread to the whole community where everyone began harassing her. She could not take it anymore hence decided to leave the country with the help of his brother she found her way to Tongogara camp and she is living peacefully there and all thanks goes to Zimbabwean government for offering her shelter. Therefore considering respondents stories, one may see that more push factors associated with harassment and discrimination have left many people displaced from their home places risking their lives in pursuit of better and safer places in their neighboring countries and across the world.
4.3.3 Economic CausesIn recent years refugee crisis have increased and quite a number of people have left their home countries because of the issues to do with poverty and in search of economic opportunities in another countries around the world. Zimbabwe has not been spared from becoming the destination country to many people around the continent of Africa and world at large. From the research findings very small number of respondents gave their reasons for migrating as looking for greener pastures where they ran away from poverty or famine and they highlighted that Zimbabwe was a peaceful country which offered conducive environment for starting a business as compared to other countries in Africa. They were no longer getting enough for their family upkeep and so they decided to move and found their way to Tongogara refugee camp.
4.4 Refugee Sources of Livelihoods
4.4.1 Sources of Livelihoods Back in Home CountriesThe table below shows the refugee livelihoods sources in their home countries and this was looked at as a way of comparing their sources of livelihoods with the current sources of livelihoods in Tongogara, hence getting to understand factors behind what influences their current choices of livelihoods activities.
Table 4. 1: Sources of Livelihoods for Refugees in their Home Country
Source of livelihoods Frequency
Formal employment 24
Small businesses 21
Rental income 2
Assistance from relatives 12
Research findings from both questionnaire surveys and focus group discussions indicated that, 24 out of 50 respondents in this research indicated that their main sources of livelihoods back home were formal employment which included teaching, project officers to some organisations, agriculturalist, journalists, accountants, medical doctors and students and others who were on job training. In as much these people were formally employed 21 of the respondents were at the same time engaged in different types of small businesses that used to supplement their income such as trading which involves buying and selling of clothes, small grocery and kitchen ware shops. Almost three quarters of the respondents (38) were involved with farming as their main source of livelihoods back home where they grew both crops such as sweet potatoes, sorghum, beans, potatoes and bananas; and animal rearing which included cattle, goats, sheeps, pigs and poultry. This was most preferred source of livelihoods activities by many Rwandese and Burundian people that even until now most of the people practising farming, the majority are from these two nationalities. 2 of the respondents mentioned rental income as their sources of income and another 12 respondents indicated that they were still receiving assistance from their immediate families who were running their own businesses. However, from the research findings the researcher realised that the preferred source of livelihoods for some DRC people were hairdressing, tailoring, film making and acting that earned quite enough income for feeding and taking care of their family needs.
4.4.2 Sources of Livelihoods in ZimbabweRefugees upon their arrival in Tongogara refugee camp receive assistance from the UNHCR in the form of essential basic needs but this assistance is stopped after their emergency period is over. This leads to refugees starting looking for their ways of making a living hence engaging in different livelihood activities so as to meet their needs. The table below show the distribution of livelihood sources of many refugees in Tongogara camp.
Table 4. 2: Distribution of Livelihoods Sources in Zimbabwe
Sources of livelihoods Frequency
Small business 15
Aid assistance from NGOs 21
Assistance from relatives (Remittance) 12
From the focus group discussions and questionnaires that were administered to refugees confirmed that they were engaging in several types of activities as their livelihoods strategies. These livelihoods activities include small businesses like running small grocery shops, barbershops, beauty salons, butcheries, bars, engaging in tailoring/sewing, hairdressing, brick moulding and selling to fellow refugees, building and others serving as church pastors; and as indicated in the table above, 15 of the respondents were engaged in these small businesses. 18 of the respondents indicated that they were making their livelihoods from engaging with farming growing both crops and keeping livestock’s supported by Goal in partnership with UNHCR in providing them with inputs and technical support. The key informant from TDH officials, highlighted that people originating from the DRC did not show interest in engaging with farming claiming that they were not used to such kind of work and so they preferred mostly engaging into selling beautification commodities, owning beauty salons and selling material known as mazambia (vitenge in swahili) for their living. However, those involved into farming noted that they were having challenges because despite the fact that they received inputs and technical support, this support was coming at the wrong timing sometimes late for them to grow their crops which affected their yields.
Also 21 of the respondents as indicated by the table 4.2, stated that they were depending on the monthly allowance offered by WFP in partnership with UNHCR and complained that, the allowance was not enough to catering for the needs of their families for the whole month. According to some refugees this allowance was just catering for their need in the first and part of their second week, and upon asking them on how they were managing the situation, they mentioned that they were forced to just manage the little they had but said they were suffering. Some echoed that being a refugee in another country was not easy for them because they do not have all the freedoms to do whatever that pops into their minds as the best opportunity of making money. The main emphasis was put on the encampment policy as having a greater effect on their choices of livelihoods activities, thereby leaving them with no other options than just sit and wait for the assistance from NGOs.
Again 2 of the respondents mentioned that, they were earning their living from engaging with trading with their neighboring communities and this involved buying commodities from fellow refugees and supplying them to the neighboring communities like musapingura, maronga and masettlers; in return they would get fruits like mangoes, oranges and bananas that they would sell back to the camp. Another 12 of the respondents mentioned that, they were depending on the money sent to them from their relatives and friends who were living in abroad countries such as Canada, USA, Switzerland, Italy and some with relatives living in the camp and in Harare. Lastly, 5 of the respondents mentioned that, they were working for some organisations like UNHCR as interpreters, TDH and Goal Zimbabwe as community service assistants and earning a little income from the jobs. These interpreters indicated that, they were working on a rotational timetable whereby a group worked for a week and another the other week and so on.
An interview with the key informant from DSW official commented that, from the moment UNHCR and WFP started the cash transfer program in the settlement in 2015, many small shops had been opened by many refugees specifically Rwandese and Burundians; and this has boosted the economy and livelihoods of the refugees in Tongogara camp since with the monthly allowance distributed to them, one has full authority of making their own choices on what to buy and eat as a family. He also mentioned that those in the neighboring communities are now coming to buy commodities from the refugee settlement and even seeking for petty jobs from the refugees such as washing clothes, watering the garden and fetching firewood and in return get few cups of mealie meal, beans, cooking oil and sometimes money.
4.5 Levels of Satisfaction
The respondents of this study were asked whether they were satisfied or not by their progress made so far in their livelihoods activities and 28 of the respondent mentioned that they were satisfied and 22 not satisfied at all. A following question was asked on their levels of satisfaction in terms of increased income, able to send children to school, improved food security or nutrition and increased well being. This information was important for the researcher because it was a way of appreciating the reasons behind people’s engagement in different livelihoods activities.
Table 4. 3: Levels of Satisfaction of the RespondentsVery satisfied Satisfied Average Not satisfied
Increased income 6 11 9 12
Sending children to school 4 16 20 10
Improved food security/nutrition 14 23 8 5
Increased well being 6 21 12 18
Information from table 4.6 above indicates that 6 of the respondents were very satisfied with the progress they had made in terms of having increased income, 11 were satisfied, 9 stated that they were average which means they were neither satisfied nor not satisfied and lastly 12 of the respondents stated that they were not satisfied at all because they were making very little from these activities. In terms of sending children to school, 4 were very satisfied while 16 indicated that they were satisfied, 20 were average and 10 were not satisfied at all. Moreover, in terms of having improved food security/nutrition, 14 of the respondents indicated that they were very satisfied, with 23 who were satisfied, 8 were on the average and 5 of them mentioned that they were not at all satisfied by their progress. Lastly in terms of the increased well-being, 6 of the respondents indicated that they were very satisfied with their progress with 21 members indicating that they were satisfied in a way, and 12 of the respondents indicating that it was average and 18 indicated that they were not satisfied at all. Looking at their responses from different households, it shows that quite a number of people who were engaged in the projects available in the camp were somehow satisfied with their progress simply because they were able to provide for the needs of their families throughout the year and also sending their children to boarding schools where they believed children are provided with better education in a very conducive environment than the environment in the camp that does not have electricity, peaceful environment for studying after classes among other things. Also from the results presented in the table above, the majority of the people who indicated of not being satisfied at all were those people who were not engaged with any kind of livelihoods activities but rather waited for the monthly allowance such that their households showed poverty signs and in case the allowance was not provided then feeding problems presents themselves to their households.
4.6 Livelihoods opportunities of refugee
From the research finding, respondents indicated that their children had the opportunity to access education through the assistance from UNHCR and partner organisations. In this case they mentioned TDH as the main partner that was supporting their children in accessing both primary and secondary education and appreciated the support that was being rendered to their children’s education as their human capital. Due to funding constraints faced by UNHCR, funding for children who wish to further their studies after their high school has shrank. However, some of the respondents to this study extended their thanks to Africa University and its sponsors for rendering their support in empowering refugee women and men in furthering their studies and wished for the University to continue with their support.
Moreover, JRS in partnership with UNHCR present capacity building and skills trainings opportunities to refugees in Tongogara camp through the opening up of vocational training centers. Technical skills acquired from these trainings enhance refugees’ human capital as many youths and adults appreciated the presence of the vocational training center that it had benefited them in enhancing their dreams and improving their well-being in the camp. Women were grateful for the opportunity given to them, that it had enhanced their capabilities in increasing their income and supporting their families without waiting for their husbands support.
The cash transfer programme that was started in 2015 by the WFP partnering with UNHCR presented a change in peoples’ livelihoods opportunities. Respondents mentioned that the coming of cash allowance made life much easier as compared to food handouts that were being received previously. Cash assistance allowed them to determine their needs and make their own choices with regards to what are their most preferences. A number of people have managed to open small grocery shops that have enhanced community development and at the same time improving their well-being while in the camp.
4.7 Challenges Encountered in Pursuit of Livelihoods4.7.1 Encampment PolicyZimbabwe has been amongst the countries that have tried to relax their refugee policies in terms of the movement of refugees in their neighbouring villages and towns. These restrictions of movement for the refugees have an effect in their choices with regard to livelihoods activities that they end up engaging in. In Zimbabwe for one to leave the refugee camp has to acquire for a gate pass from the Camp administrator that will be presented to government officials once asked for, failure to produce this gate pass one faces problems with the government, hence this affects their movement in different places. In support of this during the key informant interviews, the Camp Administrator also emphasized on the need for every refugee to acquire a gate pass before leaving the camp, and that the get pass will be indicating the person’s reasons for leave the camp and when they are supposed to be back in the camp. During the focus group discussions a man from DRC mentioned that, he was involved in importing and supplying clothes and female perfumes which used to give him a lot of income back home, but since arriving in Zimbabwe, he had tried the same business of buying commodities in Harare and reselling to people in Tongogara camp but the issue of asking for a get pass whenever leaving the camp have become his constraint since sometimes he will need to go and fail to acquire the gate pass due to time and sometimes fail to get the pass because officials will be busy; and the business itself has not been fruitful because people would not have money to buy the goods which makes him ending up incurring losses instead of profits.
The official from the Department of Social welfare reiterated that, according to the 1951 Refugee Convention and the 1969 OAU which is now AU Refugee Convention that governs the specific Aspects of Refugee Problems in Africa that was signed by many countries Zimbabwe included, did not give rights for refugees’ to get formal employment in their host nations and so this have not been considered with any countries to allow refugees to acquire formal employment, but however for Zimbabwe refugees are now everywhere employed in formal sectors which shows that this policy has been relaxed in a way. For every refugee who want to work out of the camp will need to get the authority to work from the immigration offices and even for student to avoid harassment and any kind of trouble while travelling or out of the camp, need to acquire for the authority to study as long as the student is a fully registered refugee with all the documents needed to get the authority to do their studies at any institution in the country.
Participants who were engaged in the focus group discussions (FGDs) emphatically reported of their difficulties in acquiring the authority to work. They emphasized more on the fact that the process of acquiring a work permit is just too expensive for them because sometimes you will see that the money that you will pay for the document is just too much that business might not flourish well after one would have wasted the little income saved from their monthly allowance. Clarity was sought during the interview with the immigration officer, who echoed that the process of acquiring authority to work document was not too long and expensive but that it becomes expensive to those people who does not approach their offices directly for such assistance and pass through some consultants who also charges their own commission money and takes long to submit their applications.
4.7.2 Market ProblemFrom the research findings the most challenge that people presented was that of market problems when their produces are ready for market. They emphasized that, yes in as much as they would engage in many different projects and other activities that have a potential of giving them more income at the end of the day, the problem of finding market for their products remains a challenge. This challenge is connected to the refugees movement restrictions that requires everyone to ask for the permission from the camp administrator who have to give or deny ones request for travelling out of the camp. Discussions with key informants from Goal Zimbabwe and DSW officials, more emphasis was given on market problems despite having started different livelihoods projects people faces a challenge when it come to selling their end products. According to the DSW official, market has continued to be problematic for refugees and this is because of the negative perceptions that local community members have towards people in Tongogara. The locals have a negative perception that nothing good can come out of Tongogara and as such when refugees have some products to sell, market becomes a challenge to them.
4.7.3 Climatic Conditions
The respondents emphasized on climatic conditions of the location of the refugee camp as a big challenge faced by refugees who would be interested in engaging with farming as their source of livelihoods. According to them there is very little rainfall received in the area and as such irrigation schemes had been introduced but these does not provide enough water to irrigate their crops and so this affects their production from their small portions of plots that they are given. Hence this leaves them with no other option than engaging into other illegal activities as long as they put food on their tables. From the research findings, the main reason for these people to opt for negative paths of making a living are as a result of low levels of education given that most of them would have dropped from school before reaching “O” Level and some in primary level.
As pointed out by a key informant from the Goal Zimbabwe that works with refugees in promoting sustainable livelihoods through initiating projects pointed out that the climatic conditions associated with the location of the refugee settlement poses a greater challenge to crop production, he continued by saying that with the settlement being located in the region five that receives very little rainfall, crops does not do well in the area despite having introduced irrigation schemes that does not as well provide enough water for the growth of the crops that people are growing simply because this water for irrigation is released during the evening hours and sometimes during the night that human beings are not encouraged to go to their fields during those hours because it poses insecurities to them especially women who might be harassed or even rapped on their way to the fields in those hours because there are bushes along the way to the fields and they are close to local communities.
4.7.4 Lack of Access to CapitalRespondents also mentioned lack of access to capital as the challenge faced in their pursuit of their livelihoods. This problem affects refugees in many countries since they are not in possession of any property that they may use in terms of meeting the demand of banks and other financial institution in terms of collateral that is needed for one to qualify for the mainstream of credit facilities. Respondents from the FGDs emphasized that they wished there was any other way that was possible for them to access capital in terms of loans from banks that would assist them in making use of their business entrepreneurial skills. For by this, they hope can enhance their sustainability and decrease their dependency on the humanitarian assistsance that is provided for them on a monthly basis.
4.7.5 Competition within the Refugee CampRespondents pointed out that competition amongst themselves being a challenge in making their livelihoods sustainable. This is because no one wants to see their neighbours prospering more than themselves hence if one has goods or products that they are selling, another person tend to offer the same products at a very cheaper prices so as to take all the customers for him or herself. This challenge was pointed out by mostly those who own small shops, those involved in trading with neighboring communities and even those who are into tailoring and hairdressing in the community. A hairdressing woman from DRC pointed out that the problem started as a joke when the price for plaiting one head was normally at $8 and as people who engaged in the business increased some started to reduce the prices such that now a head can be plaited at a cheaper price like $2; and this forced her to reduce her prices to $4 but because of this she have lost a number of her usual customer to these other hairdressers.
4.7.6 Human-Animal ConflictsThe respondents pointed out that having the camp located close to the national park posed a problem between them and the animals from the park that sometimes their security is threatened because sometimes harmful animals are spotted moving around in the camp and this mostly happens during the evening hours. According to them, there was a case of a man who was killed by the elephants some five years back and this has made people very afraid of their lives that quite a number of people try their best not to be far away from their homes during the night. Also mentioned that these wild animals have posed a threat to their livestocks since a number of their goats and pigs are found dead in the nearest bushes having been attacked by these animals.
However, despite these challenges, the respondents indicated that they were very grateful to the government of Zimbabwe for offering them shelter despite their situations and appreciated the efforts being made by UNHCR and other NGOs to assist them in achieving better livelihoods. Asked of how they were managing the situation, their responses were that they had to adjust and manage with the little they were getting, others engaged into barter trading as a way to exchange goods with other refugees and locals so as to cater for the needs of the family. Their emphasis was that, it was better they had a roof over their heads but hoped for their situation to become better and be able to work for their families.
4.8 Nature of Livelihoods Interventions and their effectiveness
Various number of organisations both national and international organisations are working with refugees in Tongogara refugee camp offering them with support that ensures that their livelihoods are enhanced and that they have an improved well-being. From the research findings, the Organisations that have been rendering their support to refugees include United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), Terre Des Hommes, Goal Zimbabwe, World Food Program, and Jesuit Refugee Services. These organisations support refugees through their partnership with UNHCR and the Department of Social Welfare so as to run projects in the camp.
The Ministry of Public Services, Labor and Social Welfare through the Department of Social Welfare and in partnership with the UNHCR is responsible for the general administration of Tongogara refugee camp which includes settlement coordination and management. It assists in the determination of refugee status and registration whereby they give refugees temporary permits that allow them to stay in the country and be able to receive primary services such as health and education services from service providers, and also passports that allow students to travel to other countries to receive higher education. This department is responsible for creating enabling environments for NGOs that will show their willingness to support refugees through the partnership with UNHCR. Also responsible for allocating stands for business purpose and from the key informants these businesses are contributing towards community development and in attaining self-reliance amongst the refugees in the country.
The UNHCR as the main funding body has the role of funding the projects that are running in the camp. For example the irrigation scheme project and the procurement of inputs is funded by UNHCR administered and implemented by its partner GOAL Zimbabwe. Goal Zimbabwe offers training and networking refugees with other local actors who are involved in the same activities as a way of marketing the work being done in Tongogara camp. Goal is also implementing livelihoods projects in the livestock side where it has introduced piggery project, poultry and rabbit keeping projects. In funding these projects the UNHCR is using a methodology known as a graduational approach whereby they start projects and those who are involved in the project will have to keep their profits and support themselves in the next year
According to the UNHCR key informant, as UNHCR in partnership with WFP were prioritising livelihoods projects in the refugee camp to ensure that refugees by the end of the day attain self-reliance. To achieve this UNHCR have been in partnership with GOAL Zimbabwe to administer and implement these livelihoods projects which aims at building resilience and capacitating refugees in Tongogara to attain self-reliance. The key informant mentioned that, the organisations have adopted the graduational approach which is an empowerment approach that was started in many countries with an aim of building resilience and capacitating refugees to be self-reliant and Zimbabwe is one of these countries. With this approach refugees are assisted with inputs and are allowed to sell the final products but they are expected to carry on with the project in the second year without the support of the partner organisation. However this approach have proved to be promoting dependency whereby people are getting the inputs and with the support from the partner organisation produce more and once the partners withdraws from the project, they are failing to continue with the project simply because they would have eaten all profits forgetting that they need to save for future standing of the project. Responding to the same issue, refugees who were consulted stated that they were facing challenges once the partner withdraws from the projects because of lack of cooperation, unity and understanding between themselves whereby everyone wants to show off their skills and that they can manage without each other’s assistance and that if one tries to caution a friend then it creates enemity between the two, hence people end up deciding not to continue with the projects as a group.
Respondents expressed their awareness of the livelihoods projects being carried out in the camp by GOAL Zimbabwe. These projects include piggery, poultry and rabbits keeping projects but despite having these projects running, people complained that membership to these projects were not sufficient for everyone with interest. Speaking with those who were involved in the projects during the FGDs expressed their appreciation for Goal Zimbabwe to have started such projects in their camp that it has improved their livelihoods and that their income have been increased even though not so much but simply because once their livestock are ready for market they sell them to their fellow refugees and other locals around the camp, and this have occupied their minds and have reduced idleness. However, considering the efforts and morale shown by those engaged with these projects, they could get more income if only they were going to be allowed to sell their products from outside the camp to their neighboring communities and towns.
An interview with key informant from Goal Zimbabwe, indicated that they were happy with the responses they were getting from the people during their call for interested people to be involved in the projects. He mentioned that by the time they started the piggery project, they only had 100 pig stays which is a safer place to reduce the health threats posed by the pigs and started with only 14 families, but now the number had increased to 44 families which shows that the response of the people was overwhelming. Similarly speaking with the people concerning the piggery project, the general answer from the people was that at least from the moment this project was initiated the movement of pigs all over the camp had been reduced. A woman involved with the project appreciated that household food security has improved as she was able to buy milk and meat for her family without many difficulties and to buy her children clothes and snacks from the money she makes from the project.
Irrigation scheme intervention is administered by GOAL Zimbabwe which involves crop farming on 25 hectares of land. Respondents to the study emphasized that the land provided for farming was very small and some complained that they did not have access to smaller portion of land that others had. An interview with Goal key informant official, mentioned that each individual household is allocated a portion of 0,05 hectares whilst FAO recommends a plot to be 0,5 hectares per household. He agreed with the refugees’ complaint of the portions of land not being sufficient for families to grow enough food for their home consumptions, but indicated that negotiations were under way whereby UNHCR was negotiating for an expansion of the land so as to cater for the needs of more refugees. As a way of promoting social integration and avoiding conflicts between the refugees and the local population, 10% of the irrigation schemes are allocated to host communities and from the moment the arrangements were made there have been a decrease in conflicts between the two communities.
Terre Des Hommes (TDH) organisation is responsible for primary health and education of the refugees in TRC. TDH supports education up to the secondary level for all refugee children in the camp through ensuring that all their needs are catered for, ensuring their success in attaining educational knowledge. From the interview with TDH key informant official mentioned that the organisation was not directly linked to livelihoods activities but that recently the US Embassy had funded the soap making project that had not yet started but preparation facilities were being made to ensure that the project takes off latest early march with safety protection of the project facilities. However, from the research findings refugees in Tongogara showed very little knowledge of the services provided to them by TDH such that from the 30 questionnaires distributed to the community only 13 respondents indicated that the organisation was working towards ensuring they receive health services and for educational services of their children; hence this shows that there is more need to carry out awareness or sensitization campaigns and workshops to expose refugees to the work being done by organisations and services they are providing for them.
Furthermore, JRS is another actor working in Tongogara and is involved with four main programmes that include pastoral work which includes a Catholic Priest (Father) who is a marriage officer, psychosocial support through offering counselling to individuals and sometimes upon referral from the community leaders and running a vocational training centre where skills in cosmetology, carpentry, detergent making, sewing, building, electrical engineering and bead making are acquired by the refugees. According to a sister working for JRS, as a recorded achievement for them is that; by the end of 2017, 100 refugees were trained in skills and given a chance to start their own businesses to apply their learnt skills. For those involved in livelihood projects such as piggery and poultry project administered by JRS, they recently have managed to buy their own refrigerator that will be storing their products whenever they will be ready for market.
In the discussions with some refugees who have been living in the settlement for a number of years concerning the services provided to them by JRS and their impacts in their daily lives was positive, with most of them reiterating that vocational skills training supported by JRS had been their source of occupation since idleness was going to kill them. Those who were engaged in tailoring/sewing gave their appreciation to JRS for the support it continues to render them that they have found jobs of making people’s dressings from the skills that have been availed to them, hence increasing their own income adding to the $13 dollars offered to them.
In support of the projects administered by the JRS, participants pointed out that for those who have been engaged in these skill development projects, had been empowered and equipped with an asset that will live with them for the rest of their lives whether they return back to their home countries or when integrated into their host nations. from the discussions they pointed out that these skills were contributing much in their daily livelihoods, for 3 of the participants in FGDs who are involved with sewing indicated that from the skills acquired they were able to send their children to boarding schools and managed to pay for their school fees and pocket money for their upkeep while studying. Hence by this one can see how these interventions are helping in building resilience within the refugee community which will assist them to achieve self-reliance and sustainable livelihoods.
4.9 Way ForwardFrom the respondent’s views on the best way forward to improve their livelihoods, a number of answers were brought forward each depending on their desires. Almost three quarters of the respondents emphasized on the need for the relaxation of policies governing refugees in the country such as those to do with the encampment policy that restricts their movement to be revisited and allow for the free movement that refugees could be allowed to make use of their abilities to work and take care of their families, and that employment opportunities will allow them realise their potentials and encourage other refugees to do away with the culture of depending on handouts from well wishers that is the order of the day for the most people in refugee camp.
During the discussions with respondents who are involved in the livelihoods projects on what can be done to improve their livelihoods, highlighted that there was need to expand the farming plots, improve and increase livestock projects so that they could cater for all that are interested to take part. Those involved with livestock projects mentioned their desire for having a cold room that will be storing their ripe chickens waiting for market so as to reduce extra expenses incurred after their chicken are ready for the market, also the need for veterinary doctor services to look at their animals and ensure that they are in good conditions. Another request from those who are involved in livestock projects was that, there is need for the donors to have a direct interaction with them so as to discuss directly issues that are affecting them, share ideas on how best to deal with the challenges and also get to see how their funds are being utilised on the ground.
Discussions with the Rwandese and Burundians refugees who have stayed in the refugee settlement for the period of more than ten (10) years on what can be done to help them in achieving sustainable livelihoods highlighted that they would appreciate it if the government of Zimbabwe was going to consider them for citizenship, claiming that this was going to open up more opportunities for them to do business like anyone out there and take care of their families without hindrances. They based their request on the fact that for years their nationalities have not been considered for the resettlement programs that only other refugees from other countries like DRC, Somalia, Sudan and Ethiopia were the only ones having such chances; and so echoed that they were willing to stay in Zimbabwe as long as possible instead of their children having been born refugees, growing in the same situation and dying into the refugee situation.
4.10 SummaryThis chapter has presented the analysis and interpretation of the data that was collected from the community through the use of a mixed method approach and the key findings from the field based on the objectives that were set before the beginning of the study. Different responses were given during the discussions and from the research findings, it have indicated that livelihoods sources and strategies that refugees possessed before they became refugees has a greater impact in influencing the strategies that are adopted in host countries and yet again influenced by the nature of conditions presented by the environment they find themselves into. From the encounter with the people in the camp, it has been discovered that despite having a number of projects running in the community, the tendency of dependency is still in its highest and in order to deal with this, social integration should be considered by the government and allow refugees find their ways of making a living in the country.