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Relocate or Stay put: Exploring family mobility choices in the wake of 2004 tsunami in Laamu atoll, Maldives

Lubna, Hawwa LU (2015) SGED10 20151
Department of Human Geography
Abstract
The question of choice is a fundamental issue in the discussion of human mobilities. In the context of natural disaster and resettlement programs, the affected population is reduced to victims devoid of agency, and their movements concluded as passive reactions. However, the post-tsunami mobility behaviour of the families in the Maldives after the devastating 2004 tsunami paints a very different picture. In light of the widespread destruction of entire island settlements, the national government decided to implement a series of donor funded planned relocation programs to move most severely affected communities from their islands to a number of selected islands with better economic opportunities and environmental protection. The response to... (More)
The question of choice is a fundamental issue in the discussion of human mobilities. In the context of natural disaster and resettlement programs, the affected population is reduced to victims devoid of agency, and their movements concluded as passive reactions. However, the post-tsunami mobility behaviour of the families in the Maldives after the devastating 2004 tsunami paints a very different picture. In light of the widespread destruction of entire island settlements, the national government decided to implement a series of donor funded planned relocation programs to move most severely affected communities from their islands to a number of selected islands with better economic opportunities and environmental protection. The response to the program was mixed, with some families exhibiting eagerness to move while others insisted on staying put and rebuilding their home islands. Through a case study of beneficiaries who accepted and rejected Gan Resettlement Program (GRP) implemented in Laamu atoll after the tsunami, I aimed to find out the motivation behind the divided mobility decisions of the families. The findings show the relocating families from Mundoo and Kalhaidhoo saw GRP as an opportunity for moving to a place where they can improve their livelihood and achieve upward mobility. Permanent housing, land tenure, access to the fishing grounds, educational and employment opportunities were among the key drivers underlying their decision to resettle. In contrast, stayers exhibited high degree of attachment to their ‘home’ island. For them, relocation seemed absolutely unnecessary when they can continue to survive, if not thrive, on the island through continuation of traditional fishing activities, and has unhindered access to nearby islands for basic services lacking on their island. This thesis concludes that in the post-tsunami context families used mobility and non-mobility as a livelihood strategy. (Less)
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author
Lubna, Hawwa LU
supervisor
organization
course
SGED10 20151
year
type
M2 - Bachelor Degree
subject
keywords
Maldives, Planned Relocation, Migration, Livelihoods, Natural Disaster
language
English
id
7767636
date added to LUP
2017-12-19 13:10:00
date last changed
2017-12-19 13:10:00
@misc{7767636,
  abstract     = {The question of choice is a fundamental issue in the discussion of human mobilities. In the context of natural disaster and resettlement programs, the affected population is reduced to victims devoid of agency, and their movements concluded as passive reactions. However, the post-tsunami mobility behaviour of the families in the Maldives after the devastating 2004 tsunami paints a very different picture. In light of the widespread destruction of entire island settlements, the national government decided to implement a series of donor funded planned relocation programs to move most severely affected communities from their islands to a number of selected islands with better economic opportunities and environmental protection. The response to the program was mixed, with some families exhibiting eagerness to move while others insisted on staying put and rebuilding their home islands. Through a case study of beneficiaries who accepted and rejected Gan Resettlement Program (GRP) implemented in Laamu atoll after the tsunami, I aimed to find out the motivation behind the divided mobility decisions of the families. The findings show the relocating families from Mundoo and Kalhaidhoo saw GRP as an opportunity for moving to a place where they can improve their livelihood and achieve upward mobility. Permanent housing, land tenure, access to the fishing grounds, educational and employment opportunities were among the key drivers underlying their decision to resettle. In contrast, stayers exhibited high degree of attachment to their ‘home’ island. For them, relocation seemed absolutely unnecessary when they can continue to survive, if not thrive, on the island through continuation of traditional fishing activities, and has unhindered access to nearby islands for basic services lacking on their island. This thesis concludes that in the post-tsunami context families used mobility and non-mobility as a livelihood strategy.},
  author       = {Lubna, Hawwa},
  keyword      = {Maldives,Planned Relocation,Migration,Livelihoods,Natural Disaster},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Relocate or Stay put: Exploring family mobility choices in the wake of 2004 tsunami in Laamu atoll, Maldives},
  year         = {2015},
}