Forced relocation after the Indian Ocean tsunami, 2004 [Elektronische Ressource] : case study of vulnerable populations in three relocation settlements in Galle, Sri Lanka / vorgelegt von Nishara Fernando
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Forced relocation after the Indian Ocean tsunami, 2004 [Elektronische Ressource] : case study of vulnerable populations in three relocation settlements in Galle, Sri Lanka / vorgelegt von Nishara Fernando

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FORCED RELOCATION AFTER THE INDIAN OCEAN TSUNAMI, 2004 CASE STUDY OF VULNERABLE POPULATIONS IN THREE RELOCATION SETTLEMENTS IN GALLE, SRI LANKA DISSERTATION zur Erlangung des Doktorgrades (Dr. rer. nat.) der Mathematisch-Naturwissenschaftlichen Fakultät der Rheinischen Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn vorgelegt von NISHARA FERNANDO aus Colombo, Sri Lanka Bonn 2010 Angefertigt mit Genehmigung der Mathematisch-Naturwissenschaftlichen Fakultät der Rheinischen Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn 1. Gutachter : Prof. Dr. Hans-Georg Bohle 2. Gutachter : Prof. Dr. Helmuth Toepfer Tag der Promotion: 10.05.2010 Erscheinungsjahr: 2010 Abstract This study focuses on the impact of forced relocation on the livelihoods of residents who lived in the city of Galle, Southern Province of Sri Lanka, prior to the 2004 tsunami, who were later forcibly relocated into new settlements situated far from the city of Galle as a result of the "buffer zone regulation" (no construction zone). It further examines various livelihood strategies (i.e. coping and enhancement) employed against stresses and risks (i.e. income, housing, common infrastructure and fragmented relationship with the host community) emanating from forced relocation.

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Published 01 January 2010
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FORCED RELOCATION AFTER THE INDIAN
OCEAN TSUNAMI, 2004

CASE STUDY OF VULNERABLE POPULATIONS IN THREE
RELOCATION SETTLEMENTS IN GALLE, SRI LANKA



DISSERTATION


zur
Erlangung des Doktorgrades (Dr. rer. nat.)
der
Mathematisch-Naturwissenschaftlichen Fakultät
der
Rheinischen Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn



vorgelegt von

NISHARA FERNANDO

aus
Colombo, Sri Lanka



Bonn 2010

Angefertigt mit Genehmigung der Mathematisch-Naturwissenschaftlichen Fakultät der
Rheinischen Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn









































1. Gutachter : Prof. Dr. Hans-Georg Bohle
2. Gutachter : Prof. Dr. Helmuth Toepfer
Tag der Promotion: 10.05.2010
Erscheinungsjahr: 2010



Abstract

This study focuses on the impact of forced relocation on the livelihoods of residents who
lived in the city of Galle, Southern Province of Sri Lanka, prior to the 2004 tsunami, who
were later forcibly relocated into new settlements situated far from the city of Galle as a
result of the "buffer zone regulation" (no construction zone). It further examines various
livelihood strategies (i.e. coping and enhancement) employed against stresses and risks (i.e.
income, housing, common infrastructure and fragmented relationship with the host
community) emanating from forced relocation. Finally, it attempts to show how all these
stresses and risks have added to increased social vulnerability, threatening the livelihood
security of the relocated sample households in three research locations by adopting a socio-
geographic approach.

The empirical study is embedded in two main research areas: displacement and relocation
research, and vulnerability and livelihoods research. Two conceptual frameworks of forced
relocation (Thayer Scudder's Stress and Settlement Process, and Michael Cernea's
Impoverishment Risks and Reconstruction Model for Resettling Displaced People) and
another two conceptual frameworks of social vulnerability (Bohle's conceptual model on
Double Structure of Vulnerability and the Sustainable Livelihoods Framework) were used to
construct an analytical framework for the empirical study. Data was collected in three stages
between September 2006 and March 2008 in three large resettlements 8-12 km away from the
city of Galle using several data collection methods, namely detailed household questionnaires,
in-depth interview schedules, key informant interviews, simple observations and PRA
methods. Triangulation of methods was used with the purpose of improving the quality of
data as well as to acquire a more holistic picture of the relocation process. Both qualitative
and quantitative data analysis techniques were employed to analyse the collected data.

As the study shows, firstly the tsunami and secondly the forced relocation into settlements far
from the city were severe shocks to the studied households. As a result of these shocks, they
had to begin their life from scratch. None of the interviewed householders wanted to move
out of the city due to perceiving the negative consequences on their livelihoods, access to
schools and other services. Unavailability of unused state owned land in the city forced
government authorities to relocate most of the tsunami displaced people into
iii


settlements far from the city despite previous pledges made by the government to relocate
them within Galle city. This has increased the uncertainty of relocatees about their future.
Displaced people, however opposed to this move, did not have any permanent place to live
other than the new settlements far from the city and in addition were unable to successfully
cope with various issues and problems (limited space, lack of water, no electricity, poor
construction of wooden houses etc) in their transitory shelters.

Empirical data also pointed out increased income related stress owing to new household
expenses (i.e. new transport cost, water bills and electricity bills) and disruption of income
earning activities mainly due to transportation difficulties into the city and lack of income
earning opportunities in the new area. This situation forced them to employ various
livelihood strategies such as entering more household members into the workforce, starting
new home based income earning activity and change of main income earning activity.
Nevertheless, household surveys and in-depth interviews with selected household members
proved that economically poor resettled households were unable to successfully cope with
income related stresses. Additionally, other stress and risk factors such as poor housing
quality, lack of common infrastructure, fragmented social relationships with the host
community that extended up to physical violence caused some resettlers to move back to the
buffer zone illegally or places close to the city by renting, selling or closing their new houses.

Though there was a general institutional arrangement for relief and reconstruction soon after
the tsunami, the study also shows that government officials at various levels were lacking
relevant knowledge and capacities to handle the massive relocation process effectively. In
this context, relocatees got increasingly frustrated as there was no solid external support
system to successfully address their grievances and feeling of being neglected by relevant
authorities, which is a major sign of social marginalization. This clearly indicates a sign of
failure of tsunami induced forced relocation program in the Akmeemana Divisional Secretary
Division in Galle district.






iv


Acknowledgements

This PhD dissertation is the product of my empirical work conducted in three forced
relocation settlements in the Akmeemana Divisional Secretary Division, Galle District Sri
Lanka, and it would not have been possible without the cooperation of the people residing in
Cinnamon Garden, Katupolwaththa and Tea Garden settlements who facilitated the
completion of the fieldwork. Words alone cannot express my appreciation for the information
and the hospitality I received from new settlers, Grama Niladari Officers and Divisional
Secretary Officials. I am grateful to Deepthi Prasadini and Sarath Ravindranath who are
graduates of the Faculty of Arts, University of Colombo for helping me in administering the
household interview schedules. This study would have been impossible without their untiring
effort and commitment.

I am greatly indebted to my supervisor, Professor Hans-Georg Bohle, Institute of Geography,
University of Bonn for his guidance and advice for the completion of this task. It would not
have been possible to complete this task without his deep concern and valuable comments.

I owe a special thank you to Dr. Joern Birkman (Academic Officer, Institute for Environment
and Human Security, United Nations University, Bonn) for his valuable comments,
suggestions, deep concern and his encouragement for the completion of this task.

I am thankful to DAAD (German Academic Exchange Cooperation) for granting me a PhD
scholarship to study at the University of Bonn. In addition, University of Colombo, Sri Lanka
for giving me financial assistance to conduct my fieldwork in Galle and granting study leave
for the successful completion of my studies.

My deepest gratitude goes to Alison Wiltshire and Chaithri Ranatunge for their English
editing. I appreciate their valuable time and expertise.

I would like to thank Susanne Krings, Denis Chang-Seng, Tuvan Vo Van, Neysa Jacqueline
Setiadi, Ishan Rakitha and Marc Stal for their assistance during different stages of the
research process and close friendship during my stay in Bonn, Germany. Lastly, I extend my
sincere gratitude to my wife, Apsara Kodisnghe and my two daughters Anuki Fernando and
Agrani Fernando for helping me in a multitude of ways in bringing this work to a completion.
v


Contents 
Abstract ........................................................................................................................... iii 
Acknowledgements .......................................................................................................... v
Table of Contents ............................................................................................................ vi

1.Introduction ............................................................................................................... 1

1.1. Research Problem and Aims of the Study ................................................................. 1 
1.2. Structure of the Research Process and Chapter Outline ............................................ 4

2. Key Research Concepts: Forced Relocation and Social Vulnerability .............. 7

2.1. Displacement and Relocation Studies ........................................................................ 7 
2.2. Forced Relocation ...................................................................................................... 8 
2.3. Conceptual Perspectives on Forced Relocation ......................................................... 9 
2.4. Vulnerability and Livelihoods Security ................................................................... 17 
2.5. Two Conceptual Frameworks to Study Vulnerability ............................................. 18 
2.5.1. Bohle’s Conceptual Model on Double Structure of Vulnerability ....................... 19 
2.5.2. Sustainable Livelihood Framework ...................................................................... 20 
2.6. Context, Assets, Actions and Outcomes .................................................................. 22 
2.6.1. Context .................................................................................................................. 22 
2.6.2. Assets .................................................................................................................... 24 
2.6.3. Actions: Livelihood Strategies in the Context of Forced Relocation ................... 30 
2.6.4. Outcomes: Security or Vulnerability .................................................................... 33 
2.7. Analytical Framework of the Study ......................................................................... 33

3. Research Methodology .............................................................................................. 36

3.1. First Stage ................................................................................................................ 36 
3.1.1. Selection of Research Area ................................................................................... 36 
3.1.2 Selection of Field Locations .................................................................................. 40 
3.1.3. Unstructured Interviews with Community Members ........................................... 41 
3.2. Second Stage ............................................................................................................ 42 
3.2.1. Selection of Sample Households .......................................................................... 42 
3.2.2. Administration of the Interview Schedule ............................................................ 43 
3.2.3. Key Informant Interviews with Government Officers .......................................... 45 
3.3. Third Stage ............................................................................................................... 46 
3.3.1. Re-interviewing Heads of Sample Households Using a Different Interview
Schedule ............................................................................................................................... 46 
3.3.2. In-Depth Interviews with Selected Household Heads .......................................... 47 
3.3.3. Semi-Structured Interviews with Host Community Members .............................. 47 
3.3.4. Key Informant Interviews with Office Bearers of Community Based
Organizations and Project Officers of Non-Governmental Organizations .......................... 48 
3.3.5. Participatory Appraisals ........................................................................................ 48 
3.4. Triangulation of Methods49 
3.5. Data Analysis ........................................................................................................... 50 
3.6. Problems Faced During the Fieldwork .................................................................... 51 
3.6.1. Dependency Syndrome of Study Communities .................................................... 51 
3.6.2. False Promises ...................................................................................................... 52 
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3.6.3. Troublesome Questions ........................................................................................ 53 
3.6.4. A Change in Data Collecting Tools ...................................................................... 54

4.Introduction to Research Locations and Socio-Economic and Demographic
Characteristics of Households ...................................................................................... 55

4.1. Introduction to the Selected Research Locations ..................................................... 55 
4.1.1. Katupolwaththa Relocation Settlement ................................................................. 57 
4.1.2. Cinnamon Garden Relocation Settlement ............................................................. 59 
4.1.3. Tea Garden Relocation Settlement ....................................................................... 62 
4.2. Socio-Economic and Demographic Characteristics of the Study Population .......... 65 
4.2.1. Ethnicity and Religion .......................................................................................... 65 
4.2.2. Gender and Age .................................................................................................... 66 
4.2.3. Marital Status ........................................................................................................ 67 
4.2.4. Educational Attainment ........................................................................................ 68 
4.2.5. Current Activity Status ......................................................................................... 69 
4.2.6. Income Earning Activities .................................................................................... 70 
4.2.7. Land Ownership71

5. The Impact of the Tsunami and the Forced Relocation Process ........................... 73

5.1. Uneven Geographical Impact of the Tsunami ......................................................... 73 
5.1.1 Deaths and Displacement ....................................................................................... 74 
5.1.2 Damage to Housing ................................................................................................ 76 
5.1.3 Loss of Income Earning Activities ........................................................................ 77 
5.1.4. Damage to Infrastructure ...................................................................................... 79 
5.2. The Forced Relocation Process ................................................................................ 80 
5.2.1. General Institutional Arrangements for Relief and Reconstruction ..................... 80 
  5.2.2. Living in Temporary Camps, Tents and Transitory Shelters ................................ 85 
5.2.3. Living with Relatives, Friends, Rented Rooms or Houses ................................... 90 
5.2.4. In Search of a Permanent Place to Stay ................................................................ 90 
5.2.5. Re-settling: Promises and Hope ............................................................................ 94

6. The Impact of Forced Relocation on Household Financial Capital and Livelihood
Strategies ............................................................................................................................. 98

6.1. The Impact of Forced Relocation on Household Income and Expenditure ............. 98 
6.1.1. Disruption to Income Earning Activities .............................................................. 99 
6.1.2 New Household Expenses .................................................................................... 109 
6.2. Livelihood Strategies in the Context of Income Related Stress ............................ 113 
6.2.1. Coping Strategies ................................................................................................ 114 
6.2.2. Enhancement Strategies ...................................................................................... 117 
6.2.2.1. Entering More Household Members into the Workforce ................................ 118 
6.2.2.2. Home Based Income Earning Activities .......................................................... 119 
6.2.2.3. Investing in Children’s Education ................................................................... 122 
6.2.2.4. Increase Savings............................................................................................... 125 
6.2.2.5. Home Gardening .............................................................................................. 127 
6.2.2.6. Change of Main Income Earning Activity ....................................................... 129 
6.2.2.7. Migration.......................................................................................................... 130

vii


7. The Impact of Forced Relocation on Housing, Common Infrastructure, Other
Services and Social Relationships ............................................................................... 134

7.1. Poor Quality Housing ............................................................................................ 134 
7.2. Lack of Common Infrastructure and Other Services ............................................. 139 
7.2.1. No Bridge to Cross Maha Dola ........................................................................... 139 
7.2.2. No Drains ............................................................................................................ 141 
7.2.3. No Community Centre or Playground ................................................................ 142 
7.2.4. Access Roads ...................................................................................................... 143 
7.2.5. No Garbage Collection ....................................................................................... 143 
7.2.6. Mail Delivery144 
7.2.7. No Legal Documents Assigning Property .......................................................... 145 
7.3. Social Relationship Between Old and Resettled Communities ............................. 146 
7.3.1. New Income Earning Opportunities and New Common Services for Old Settlers
............................................................................................................................................ 146 
7.3.2. Fractured Social Relationships ........................................................................... 147 

8. Specific Case Studies: The Impact of Forced Relocation on Household Social
Vulnerability ................................................................................................................. 155

8.1. Household Profile 1: Bandu (40yrs, a daily paid fisherman) and Chamila (37yrs,
housewife) at Cinnamon Garden ....................................................................................... 156 
8.2. Household Profile 2: Gune (32 yrs, boat owner and fisherman) and Sriya (30 yrs,
grocery shop owner) at Cinnamon Garden ........................................................................ 160 
8.3. Household Profile 3: Sagarika (46 yrs, home cooked lunch packet seller) belongs to
the lower socio-economic group at Katupolwaththa ......................................................... 165 
8.4. Household Profile 4: Sathyendra (52 yrs, bakery owner) and Pushpa (42yrs, housewife)
at Katupolwaththa .............................................................................................................. 169 
8.5. Household Profile 5: Roshan (28 yrs, street vendor) and Ganga (27yrs, housemaid in
Kuwait) at Tea Garden ....................................................................................................... 173 
8.6. Household Profile 6: Priyantha (40 yrs, Trawler boat fisherman) and Shirani (34yrs,
Grocery shop owner) at Tea Garden .................................................................................. 176 

9. Conclusions ............................................................................................................... 182

9.1. Conclusions of the Empirical Findings .................................................................. 182 
9.2. Further Research .................................................................................................... 190

References ..................................................................................................................... 191

Appendices .................................................................................................................... 205

1.Semi-structured interview guide to interview key informants .................................... 205 
2.Semi-structured interview guide to conduct interviews with host community members
........................................................................................................................................ 207

3.Semi-structured interview guide for in-depth interviews with selected resettled
household heads ............................................................................................................. 208 
 

viii


List of Figures

Figure 1: Major Research Areas Relevant to the Study …………………………….......... .....4
Figure 2: Overview of the Research Process…………………………………….....................6
Figure 3: A Conceptual Model for Vulnerability Analysis………………………..................20
Figure 4: Sustainable Livelihood Framework ………………………………….....................22
Figure 5: Analytical Framework……………………………………………………..............35
Figure 6: Average Monthly Transport Expenses: Before and After Resettlement………....111
List of Tables

Table: 1 Some Socio-Economic and Demographic Characteristics of Southern
Province………………………………………………………………………........38
Table: 2 Tsunami Affected People in the Southern Province by Districts……………..........39
Table 3: Tsunami Settlements Built in Akmeemana Divisional Secretary Division
(as at 6 April 2006)…………………………………………………………...........41
Table: 4 Overview of Sampling Procedure…………………………………………..............43
Table 5: Summary of Data Collection Tools Employed during the Study…………..............50
Table 6: Overview of the Study Villages………………………………………….................65
Table 7: Ethnicity and Religion of Sample Households by Location………………………..66
Table 8: Gender and Age distribution of Sample Households by Location………………….67
Table 9: Marital Status of Sample Households by Location…………………………............68
Table 10: Educational Attainment of Sample Households by Location……………………..69
Table 11: Current Activity Status of Sample Households by Location……………………...69
Table12: Income Earning Activity of Employed Sample Households by
Location…………………………………………………………………............71
Table 13: Previous Land Ownership by Location…………………………………………....72
Table 14: Tsunami Affected Districts by DS and GN Divisions ……………………............74
Table 15: Number of Tsunami Affected People by District and Province
(as at 25.1.2005)…………………………………………………………............ 75
Table 16: Housing Units Damaged by District …………………………………….........…. 77
Table 17: The Process of Managing Donor Built and Home Owner Driven
Housing…………………………………………………………………….........84
Table 18: Main Income Earning Activities of Households by Location………………….. 100
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Table19: Main Income Earning Activity by Place of Work………………..........................101
Table 20: Main Income Earning Activity by Mode of Transport Used……………………102
Table 21: Locations Travelled to for Essential Services……………………………… …..110
Table 22: Services Available at Walahanduwa, Pinnaduwa and Kuruduwaththa
Areas……………………………………………………………………………110
Table 23: Increase in Bus Fare from Selected Study Settlements to Galle City during the
Fieldwork Period………………………………………………………………..112
Table 24: Source of Water and Lighting Before and After Relocation………………..........112
Table 25: Inadequate Household Income by Location……………………………………...114
Table 26: Poor and Non-Poor Households by Location………………………………........ 115
Table 27: Coping Strategies Employed by Households…………………………………….117
Table 28: Preferred Housing by Location…………………………………..........................135
Table 29: Satisfaction with Elements of the House by Location………...............................135
Table 30: Ranking Exercise with Community Based Society Office Bearers on Housing and
Common Infrastructure Related Problems by Study
Locations………………………………………………………………………..140
List of Maps

Map 1: DS and GN Divisions of Study Locations……………………………………..........56
Map 2: Katupolwaththa Tsunami Relocation Site……………………………………. .........58
Map 3: Cinnamon Garden Tsunami Relocation Site……………………………….. ............60
Map 4: Tea Garden Tsunami Relocation Site …………………………………………....................63











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