Begging in a Fast Growing City: Trends and Situations in Bahir Dar City, Ethiopia

Dessalegn Mekuriaw Hailu


Though begging is both global and age-old phenomena, it is more pervasive in developing countries like Ethiopia. To contribute its part in understanding the subject, this study examined trends of begging and situations of beggars in Bahir Dar city by collecting data from 98 participants drawn, using  convenience and purposive sampling, and census, from governmental, non-governmental, community based and religious organizations; the public, beggars, tourists and a tour guide. It employed mixed research methods, cross sectional and approximating cross sectional with longitudinal designs; and an integrated vulnerability model. Descriptive survey and thematic analysis were employed to analyze the collected data. The study found that both the number of beggars and the depth and breadth of begging have been increasing overtime. Moreover, despite, virtually all beggars actively participate in different income generating activities in addition to begging, they live in degrading social life; marginal levels of economic activities and poor access to many of basic services of the urban life. As human labor and land resources are officially recognized as the two key development sources of Ethiopia, an increasing trend of begging and its multifaceted impacts needs to be adequately and timely responded pursuant to individual and national needs.

Keywords: Begging, almsgiving, vulnerability, human resource development, Bahir Dar city, Ethiopia


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ISSN (Paper)2224-5766 ISSN (Online)2225-0484

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