1. Introduction

1.1.Background of The study

The process of urban expansion is a worldwide phenomenon, recorded in the history of all urban centres. It started with the earliest human civilization of Babylonians’ (Cemea, 1997).

Urbanization, the process of urban expansion, may involve both horizontal and vertical expansion of the physical structure of urban areas. And horizontal expansion of urban can result in loss of agricultural land, natural beauties, range lands, parks and sceneries (Minwuyelet, 2004).

For case in point, urban centers of countries like England and USA expanded horizontally with loss of agricultural land. Impacts of urban expansion include not only the loss of agricultural land but also displacement of peasants and change of their livelihood. To this effect,10 million peoples were displaced globally because of developmental activities per year. And among those displaced, 6 million are attributed to urban expansion, (Cemea, 1997).

Although multifaceted, the main cause of urban expansion is population pressure. The increase in African population is surprising. However, more surprisingly, their urban growth rate is higher than the growth rate of national population in almost all countries of the continent. Among other factors, the population pressure, as Berhanu (2005) argues, caused expansion of African cities. The expansion of cities is, however, at the expense of prime agricultural lands and agricultural productivity which of both are the main livelihoods of peripheral communities. Urbanization and urban growth are considered as a modern way of life manifesting economic growth and development. However, urbanization and urban development in Ethiopia faced a number of socio-economic problems (Tegenge, 2000).


1.2. Statement of the problem

According to Eyasu (2007), the Ethiopian urban centers are expanding in unexpected rate resulting to peasant displacement with concomitant loss of agricultural land, loss of agricultural production and change of their livelihood.

Generally, urban expansion is spontaneous phenomenon that leads to spontaneous growth by displacing rural farming community. Even planned displacement has its own negative effect on the livelihood and the post displacement life of the affected community. This is also what should be identified and recognized to pursue the sustainable and comprehensive urban development(Tegegne, 1999:69).

Comparatively, displacement attributed to urban sprawls is more significant in developing countries than developed ones. The underlying reason for this is that majority of the people in developing countries are highly concentrated in peri-urban areas. They base their livelihood on peri-urban agriculture with fragmented land holdings. Therefore, urban expansion inevitably results to insecurity of tenure with small scale economy then by necessitating compensation. However, in developing countries like Ethiopia where land ownership belongs to both public and government, the amount of compensation paid to displaced peasants depends on government’s good will and commitment of program implementers. Where there is no or is minimum pay off, it directly leads to tenure insecurity of evicted communities.

Personal observation indicated that the pre-urban community of the Guder town is prone to displacement and land expropriation due to the expansion of the town. While land is the highest value and physically fixed asset and hence is base for the lives and livelihood of that community, the expansion of Guder seems to result to a significant Change in their way of life, production, distribution, consumption and social structure. Reportedly, unacknowledged costs and the “win-loss” effects have taken place. Therefore, it is imperative to identify the specific impact the horizontal urban expansion has on the livelihood of that community so that the “win-loss” effect is to be meliorated and to realize the “win-win” effect of urbanization and urban sprawl.


The case is worsened mainly due to the absence of land expropriation and compensation directives and rules in solid form in Oromia regional state level.

Although Proclamation No 455/1995 on land expropriation and compensation to its effect provides direction on how the private holdings are to be expropriated and what and how the compensation is to be executed at the Federal level of the Ethiopian government, in the Guder town, however, there is no such directives and legal provisions in this regards. Thus, the peri urban agricultural community has been affected adversely as the process of expropriation and the compensation issues remained under the arbitrary decisions.

1.3.     Objective of the research

1.3.1. General Objectives

The main objective of this study is to assess the impact of urban expansion on tenure security.

1.3.2. Specific Objectives

ü  To identify the effect of urban expansion on affected community

ü  To assess the major causes of urban expansion.

ü  To assess and evaluate the perception of the dislocated people in terms of satisfaction regarding benefits provided by the city administration.

ü  To indicate possible measures that should be taken to solve the existing problem.

ü  To examine the rule and regulation regarding expropriation and compensation for land use right and its implementation.

1.4.     Research questions

In order to meet its objective, the study could be answer the following research questions.

What is effect of urban expansion on affected community?

What are the major causes of urban expansion?

What is the perception of the dislocated people in terms of satisfaction regarding benefits provided by the city administration?