The Gendered Politics of Firewood in Kiryandongo Refugee Settlement in Uganda

Citation:

Mulumba, Deborah. 2011. “The Gendered Politics of Firewood in Kiryandongo Refugee Settlement in Uganda.” African Geographical Review 30 (1): 33–46.

Author: Deborah Mulumba

Abstract:

This paper examines the environmental destruction that arises from sudden location of refugees in rural settlements in Uganda. It highlights the gendered biases created when women are forced to traverse long distances to gather firewood. In doing so, the paper seeks to improve the provision of humanitarian support to refugee populations and the physical environment in their settlements. The research design was exploratory, descriptive, and largely qualitative even though small amounts of primary quantitative data were collected from a sample of 100 women and 30 men. Results of the data analysis show that refugee settlements have a negative effect on the environment in and around refugee settlements due to the excessive cutting of trees needed for firewood and charcoal. Moreover, the data show that women refugees, whose gender role it is to collect firewood, had to travel long distances in search of fuel wood, a process that exposed them to exploitation and domestic violence. The paper concludes with some recommendations including the provision of fuel energy and the adoption of environmental strategies that can conserve the ecosystem in and around refugee settlements.

Keywords: women, refugees, gender, environment, firewood, refugee settlement, Uganda

Topics: Displacement & Migration, Refugees, Refugee/IDP Camps, Domestic Violence, Environment, Gender, Women, Gender Roles, Gender-Based Violence, Humanitarian Assistance Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Uganda

Year: 2011

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