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International Recovery Platform

Case study of vulnerable populations in three relocation settlements in Galle, Sri Lanka

This study focuses on the impact of forced relocation on the livelihoods of residents who lived in the city of Galle, Southern Province of Sri Lanka, prior to the 2004 tsunami, who were later forcibly relocated into new settlements situated far from Galle city as a result of the “buffer zone regulation” (no construction zone). It further examines various livelihood strategies (i.e., coping and enhancement) employed against stresses and risks (i.e., income, housing, common infrastructure and fragmented relationship with the host community) emanating from forced relocation. Finally, by adopting a sociogeographical approach in three research locations, it attempts to show how all these stresses and risks have added to an increased social vulnerability, threatening the livelihood security of the relocated sample households.

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