| || || Maebuta, Helen E.|
| || || Livelihood strategies of people in Solomon Islands squatter settlements|
Author:Maebuta, Helen E.
Institution: University of the South Pacific.
Subject: Squatters -- Solomon IslandsxSocial conditions, Squatters -- Solomon IslandsxEconomic conditions
Call No.: pac HV 4170 .53 .M34 2007
Copyright:10-20% of this thesis may be copied without the authors written permission
Abstract: The purpose of the study is to assess the livelihood strategies of people living in Solomon Islands squatter settlements. The study used a theoretical framework derived from international literature to describe and examine poverty, growth and development in developing countries. Moreover, the works of Hoogvost (2003), Niehof and Price (2001), Turgut (2001) and Ellis (2000, 1998) provided theoretical insights into assessment of livelihood of people living in four squatter settlements in Honiara City. The work by Ellis (2000) provides insights into how ‘squatter settlement’ and ‘livelihood’ became central concepts in assessing household poverty. The study was premised on three key issues: squatter household profile and services, livelihood constraints and strategies and the role of government in improving people’s lives. It is noted that the study would be insightful through its descriptive and evaluative assessments of people’s livelihood in Solomon Islands squatter settlements. It is also a useful tool for the Government and other stakeholders in assessing and examining their role on poverty alleviation programmes in a complex socio-economic context. A case study approach was adopted and four squatter settlements were examined. Data was obtained from interviews, documents, observations and questionnaires. A sample of 208 households was surveyed and key stakeholders were interviewed. The respondents represented a cross-section of interests in squatter and livelihood issues. With regard to the squatter household profile and services, it was evident that the unplanned urban squatter situation in Honiara is increasing at an alarming rate. The households were rural migrants searching for income opportunities and illegally squatting on public and customary lands. The profile of the heads of household shows a young population and the majority were unemployed. Most of the settlers only reached primary education. Most of the households engaged in unskilled manual jobs that were self initiated. Similarly, the most obvious informal vi income activity was selling betel-nuts and cigarettes. Furthermore, improving the livelihoods of the settlers was impeded by the lack of basic services in the settlements. In generating their livelihood, it was evident that most of the settlers were too poor to make a living in the city. Hence, they used their free time to generate activities that would contribute to maintaining their livelihoods. Malaria was a frequent disease associated with the unhygienic lifestyle in the settlements. To cope with squatter hardships, households in the sample derived their income from full-time and casual jobs and from different income-generating sources. Given the circumstances of poverty, spending decisions were usually initiated by both husband and wife. Moreover, precautionary measures were practiced by the settlers to protect their households from diseases. The wantok system is a basis for social support of family members, relatives, friends and neighbours in the settlements. In the Solomon Islands, the wantok system forms a basis for social security. To subsidize their income, settlers make urban food gardens. Areas for further research were suggested and implications for policy and practice were discussed.