Begging and Urbanization: A Sociological Analysis of the Impacts of Begging for Urban Security, Sanitation and Tourism Development in Bahir Dar, Ethiopia

Dessalegn Mekuriaw Hailu


To contribute its part in understanding and dealing the problems of begging for development in general, this study examined impacts of begging on health, security and tourism development in Bahir Dar city by collecting data from 98 participants drawn, using convenience, and purposive sampling and census, from governmental, non-governmental, and 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 beggars live in degrading social life; marginal levels of economic activities and poor access to many of basic services of the urban life. By obstructing traffic flow and the flow of tourists in particular; and participating in deviant and criminal acts and concealing offenders, beggars in the city also presented pressing negative health impacts for residents; impeded city government’s plan to create defecation free city of Bahir Dar. However, dealing with begging in the city is at a nascent stage with the involvement of only one non-governmental organization and continual shift of responsibility to different bodies; poor coordination among many and lack of it with some on top of the application of sporadic, inconsistent and incomprehensive measures taken by the city government. As human labor and land resources are officially recognized as the two key development sources of Ethiopia, multifaceted impacts of begging needs to be adequately and timely responded pursuant to individual and national needs.

Keywords: urbanization, begging, tourism, urban security, urban health, urban sanitation, human resource development, Bahir Dar city, Ethiopia

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

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