“The tripartite agreement is between the Government of Liberia and the Ghanaian Government alongside with the UNHCR to come with a durable solution to the protracted refugee crisis in Ghana.” “It is not those the UNHCR after reviewing their case decided to resettle because they can’t either go home to Liberia or locally integrate in Liberia. The UNHCR have to decide what is the package for refugees. They have yet to come and say okay this is what we have for you and you are qualified to be resettled, A is qualified to be repatriated and B is qualified to be resettled.“And it is also the responsibility of the UNHCR to make sure that government provides the protection that they are supposed to provide. So it becomes “watching the watchdog” kind of thing; so that, everybody is performing his or her task. So that it serves as a kind of check and balance on our activities.”“Also, when the riot took place on February 2011, the UNHCR Protection Officer instead of being on the camp to find a way to solve the crisis was rather in studio saying that Liberian refugees receive scholarships, and were also given money, which wasn’t entirely true.”
“Yes, one of the major challenges that refugees are having here at the camp is hygienic condition and environmental pollution.” “The culture of our people too is such that people want things done for them instead of taking control of their own situations.”“So if you got ill from heart-related disease, cancer, diabetes the health insurance doesn’t cover it. In this case, you will have to fund your own medical bill. And also, not every Liberian has the health insurance card, because it has been paid for. If you don’t have the money to pay for the health insurance card, you wouldn’t have it.”
“The local host communities at a very high cost charge these rented houses or lands on refugees. UNHCR has never one day come in to assist supplement some of these payments. Refugees pay for all the services at the camp.”
Master Thesis, Preliminary Defense
Liberian Refugees in Ghana:A Case Study of their Well-being and the Local Environment Jenkins Divo Macedo Thesis Proposal Defense In Partial Fulfillment for the Requirement of the Master of Arts Degree in International Development and Social Change (IDSC) Presented To Thesis Committee Dr. Anita Häusermann Fábos, Ph.D. Dr. Marianne Sarkis, Ph.D. Dr. Jude Fernando, Ph.D. 3RD November, 2011
Thesis StatementThe impact of the protracted refugee situations on the well-being of Liberianrefugees and their local environment is determined by the Ghana’s refugeeprotection and management structure, corruption, lack of adequate healthcareand sanitation infrastructures, and the lack of provision of their fundamentalhuman needs. Research Question This study explores what determinants impact the well-being and the local environment of the Liberians Refugees in Ghana?
Background & Setting of the Study Buduburam Refugee Settlement in Ghana The settlement was established in 1990. Currently host about 11,000 Liberian refugees and others. UNHCR terminated all humanitarian services since 1997. Voluntary Repatriation
Methodology Data Collection Mixed Research Quantitative o Survey • I administered a survey to investigate the influence of the protracted refugee situation on the protection of refugee and the local environment. Inferential data that were collected will allow me to triangulate results and generalized my findings to the entire refugee population at the BRS. Qualitative o Free-list o Pile Sorts o Semi-Structure Interviews o Focus Groups • I implemented these instruments to allow me to collect detail subjective understanding of how the PRSs influence the process of refugee protection and the environment.
Methodology, Continued... Geospatial o Garmin GPSMap 60CSx o Landsat raster files between 1990 and 2010 o Google Earth • I used these geospatial techniques to collect waypoints datasets and satellite images to determine changes in land cover and also create a map of the refugee settlement with features to be launched on Google Earth . Solid Waste Disposal o Total Waste Amount (TWA) • I used this technique to calculate the emissions of Greenhouse Gas on the environment as a result of the solid waste disposed at the refugee settlement. Digital Images o Photographs and videos footages of Waste and infrastructures
Sampling Strategy Sampling Frame Liberian Refugees at the Buduburam Refugee Settlement Staff of Government Agency Staff of Non-Governmental Organizations Staff of Religious-Based Organizations Staff of Community-Based Organizations1. Simple Random Sampling • I generated 112 random integers to represent house numbers using an MS Excel 2010 document containing the estimated number of houses in all 11 zones at the settlement and a participant from each of the selected houses answered the survey.2. Convenience Sampling • I used the convenience sampling technique to recruit participants for the focus groups based on recommendations from my research assistants.3. Targeted Sampling • I used the targeted sampling technique from a list generated in MS Excel 2010 of organizations working with refugees.
Percent of Households Randomly Sampled by Zone Zone 11 2% Zone 10 Zone 1 8% 12% Zone 9 11% Zone 2 22% Zone 8 17% Zone 3 Zone 5 7% Zone 7 2% 13% Zone 6 Zone 4 1% 5%
Selection Procedure Participants Participants were refugees and staff members of government agencies, NGOs, CBOs, and RBOs. I contacted participants for the focus groups and interviews through the IRB approved recruitment letter.Ethical Considerations Informed Consent o Participants were consented through Clark’s IRB approved informed consent form. Ghana Refugee Board Approval o I got approval from the Ministry of Interior through the Ghana Refugee Board to conduct the research at the Buduburam Refugee Settlement. Verification and Certification by the Settlement Manager o My approval letter from the MOI/GRB was reviewed and certified by the Settlement Manager of the National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO)
Data Analysis Deductive Reasoning I used the deductive reasoning in analyzing my data because after reviewing preliminary literatures I found out that my conceptual framework is supported by preliminary findings from the data. Inter-rater Reliability Test Klaus Krippendorff 96% Quantitative Data 112 surveys I imported the responses into PASW Statistics Version 18 to analyze. I coded labels and applied values to the data into PASW All cases were included in the data set I ran frequency distribution analysis on significant variables.
Data Analysis, Continued... Qualitative Data Interview & Focus Group 12 interviews; 3 focus groups Atlas.ti version 6.0 I imported transcripts and interview notes from MS Word 2010 into Atlas.ti version 6.0 I used deductive reasoning to identify the themes that I used for coding. I associated codes with quotations I merged codes with other codes to generate categories I linked codes with other codes to ensure the density of my codes I developed themes from categories. I built my argument around my theoretical framework using deductive methodology. Free-list 72 Freelists; 15 Pile Sorts I used MS Excel 2010 to entered and clean freelists All cases were included I uploaded the MS Excel 2010 file into Visual Anthropac Version 1.0 I ran a frequency distribution analysis of the responses
Data Analysis, Continued... Geospatial Data I used a Garmin 60CSx Global Positioning System (GPS) to collect 132 waypoints. I uploaded the waypoints into ArcMap Version 9.3.1 Geographic Information System Analytical Software I took digital photographs of specific waypoints to create a visual map of the refugee settlement features I downloaded raster satellite images from the United States Geological Survey (USGS) website of the specific region between 1990 and 2010. I will create a map of the refugee settlement and that will launched via Google Earth open source system. Solid Waste Data I collected total waste amount of solid waste disposal from the Sanitation unit. I uploaded all numeric data into the MS Excel 2010 Institute of Energy and Environmental Research (IFEU) Solid Waste Management Greenhouse Gas Emission Calculator system to calculate the effects of BRS SWM on GHG emission. All cases were included
Preliminary ResultsQualitative 86 Codes developed, merged into 36 Categories, collapsed into 5 ThemesCODES FREQUENCY Categories FREQUENCYDurable Solution 49 Refugee Legal Frameworks & 109 Management CommitteeRefugee Management 48Riot 35 Healthcare & Sanitation 100Legal Frameworks 35 Protection 97Lack of UNHCR Assistance 34 Insecurity 86Protection 32 Riot 82Refugee Council Leadership 31 Partnership 50Change Recognition 40Accusation 30 Corruption 37Sanitation 29 UNHCR’s Absence 34Insecurity 26 Fundamental Human Needs 31Police Violence 25 Police Violence 25Human Rights Violations 24 Human Rights Violations 24Recognition 24 Discrimination 24Fundamental Human Needs 23 Leadership Change 24
Freelist Analysis Refugee Protection Life’s Conditions at the Buduburam Refugee SettlementItem Description Frequency (%) Salience Item Frequency Salience Description (%)Refugee Status 66.7 0.376 Lack of 63.6 0.376 EducationHealthcare 66.7 0.352 Poor 63.6 0.368Education 55.6 0.372 SanitationSecurity 44.4 0.400 Very Difficult 50.0 0.351Food Security Corruption 50.0 0.200 44.4 0.309 No Money 40.9 0.172No Discrimination 33.3 0.165 Lack of 40.9 0.253 HealthcareRules and Regulations 33.3 0.297 Unbearable 40.9 0.254Relocation 33.3 0.192 Police Invasion 40.9 0.244 Poor Waste 40.9 0.200Sponsorship 33.3 0.120 DisposalBasic Human Rights 33.3 0.220 Injustice 40.9 0.274Attention 33.3 0.76 Lack of 40.9 0.280 EmploymentForgetting Fears 22.2 0.151 Insecurity 36.4 0.274
Preliminary Discussions & Findings Refugee Laws & Management (RL&M) “According to the rules of the management of this camp or camps, because government wants the involvement of refugees themselves in their management we are expected to have a refugee welfare council who are expected to liaise between the refugees and “authorities” and when I say authorities here we are looking at government through my office, we are looking at the Ghana Refugee Board (GRB) as a part of the government then we are also looking at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), so that we form a kind of a tripartite.” “I know it is being done but as for now there is no plan the GRB has for local integration. But haven’t we said that, we have had series of verification processes during which we’ve asked as to what refugees want and what option they want to take. These are the options whether to want to return home, locally integrate or be resettled to a third country, but off course we have explained to them what the chances of been resettled are, what being repatriated entails, and if those are not successful what local integration entails.” Refugee Protection (PR) “The biggest problem now is that lots of Liberians are wondering about the stagnant of events of their refugee status in Ghana.” “The issues of Liberian refugees and their stay in Ghana with respect to maintenance, protection and benefits of both the refugee community and the host country is very politicized and raises many questions.” “And as these questions keep piling up unanswered it generates tension among refugees and these tensions lead to behaviors that may be classified as hostile, because they don’t know where else to turn for answers.
Preliminary Discussions & Findings, Continued... Corruption “Over the past few months, there have been various forms of aggressions by the refugee population against UNHCR staff members, their own leaders of the Liberian Refugee Welfare Council (LRWC) and the Settlement Manager (SM) on grounds that these agents or institutions are using their refugees’ status to generate huge income for themselves that should have been directed to issues such as education, healthcare, food, sanitation, etc.” “All these fabricated rumors and lies has created the situation in which people who decided to volunteer are discouraged from affording their efforts to help the community, because they are told that whatever they were volunteering to do for their own neighborhood and the community at large that there are funds allocated for such issues and that some people (basically their leaders and the Settlement Manager as well as ) the UNHCR was taking the money and using it on themselves or building infrastructures that will only benefit Ghanaians as oppose to refugees. These claims led to counter-claims and resulted in mass public disruptions on February 2011.”Healthcare & Sanitation “The sewage system on the camp is really degrading; the disposal of garbage is also a major concern, because the garbage is not being actively collected. We see garbage all over the place and this can lead to serious health outcomes such as cholera outbreak, malaria, diarrhea, etc. Flies go to these open garbage can fly back in the homes serving as vectors for diseases and these increase the new cases of cholera, dysentery, malaria, and other water and airborne diseases.” “The health insurance for refugees at the camp does not cover every illness. It covers sickness such as malaria, dysentery, diarrhea, running stomach, coughing, and to a larger extend delivery system of pregnant women.”
Preliminary Discussions & Findings, Continued... Fundamental Human Needs “The United Nations as well as the Ghanaian Government needs to specify why have refugees been kept on this camp for so long without access to basic services such as education, healthcare, proper sanitation, housing, etc.” “There are lots of amenities that we don’t have access to. So, these hindrances cause life at the camp to be very stressful and extremely hard.” “We face lots of major challenges, because here you know bulk of the people are unemployed even though some of the people are professional and very skillful. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs
Research Question RevisitedWhat determinants impact the well-being and the local environment of the Liberians Refugees in Ghana?
Preliminary Conclusions The protractedness of Liberian refugees at the BRS is a result of the government’slack of appropriate structural framework to address and promote a durable solutionone of which is the lack of a framework to encourage local integration. This situation is enhanced by corruption of appointed leaders and the violations ofrefugees’ rights by security apparatus of the state. The inadequate and inappropriate disposal of solid waste at the refugee settlementare social drivers that increase refugees’ vulnerability to disease outcomes and theincrease on GHG emissions. The withdrawal and termination of all humanitarian activities to the refugeepopulation at Buduburam except voluntary repatriation has created a situation inwhich refugees are desperately seeking a way forward with their state in Ghana. The lack of provision of refugees’ fundamental human needs by the UNHCR andother state actors decrease their likelihood of becoming self-reliant and self-sufficient, but rather becoming solely dependent on remittance from families andfriends overseas.
Special Thanks Dr. Anita H. Fabos, Ph.D., Thesis Committee/Clark University Dr. Jude Fernando, Ph.D., Thesis Committee/Clark University Dr. Marianne Sarkis, Ph.D., Thesis Committee/Clark University Dr. Willam Hansen, Ph.D., Professor of GIS/Worcester State University Dr. Ellen Foley, Ph.D., Academic Advisor/Clark University Dr. Richard Schmitt, Professor of Philosophy/Worcester State University Research Assistants(Eric Saygboh, Kinsman Collins, Anthony Carr, Benjamin Tubman, & Junior Sobah) Ministry of Interior (MOI) Ghana Refugee Board (GRB) NGOs/CBOs in Buduburam, Ghana Faculty and Students of CCLDC, Ghana Buduburam Refugees Community Peer Reviewers, IDCE/Clark University Compton Foundation, USA