Urban Environment and Squatting: One Affecting the Other The Case of Burayu Town, Ethiopia

Degu Bekele, S.S.A. Jafri, Melesse Asfaw


Squatting is the process of illegally occupying land or buildings without the explicit permission of the owner. It is clear that squatter settlements help some households in solving their shelter problems. But, rising evidences on the other side indicate that squatter settlements are the causes for remarkable public costs many of which are related to environmental degradation. Burayu town is one of the fastest growing towns in Oromia National Regional State of Ethiopia. The town is located about 15 kilometers from the center of Addis Ababa metropolis, the capital of Ethiopia. The population of Burayu town was 4,138 in 1984; 10,027 in 1994; 63,873 in 2007 (Census) and has grown to more than 150,000 in 2013 (estimated), showing that the population of the town has increased very rapidly especially during the past about seven years. The town is characterized by many environmental related problems like proliferation of squatter settlements, expansion of slums and other illegal land developments. The objective of this article is therefore to identify the collision of squatting on urban environment in relation to location of the squatter houses and generation and mismanagement of different kinds of wastes. By random purposive sampling method, 246 squatter households were selected and quantitative data and qualitative information were collected from primary as well as secondary sources and analyzed. The result points out that, squatter houses are negatively related to the town’s environment. 58.1 per cent of the squatter houses are located in environmentally sensitive areas which are prohibited by the Structure Plan Preparation Manual prepared by Ethiopian Ministry of Urban Development and Construction, 2012. They generate different kinds of wastes and the management of wastes in squatter settlements is not sustainable.

Key Words: Squatting and squatter houses

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ISSN (Paper)2224-5790 ISSN (Online)2225-0514

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