Concept: Resettlement—Causes and Effects
What is resettlement?
- Resettlement is the movement of a large group of people from one region to a distant area.
- It happens due to forced migration, mostly due to natural or man-made disasters and bad economic conditions.
- Due to resettlement, people often lose valuable economic assets like houses or lands, jobs, cultural identity, etc.
- After the resettlement, proper rehabilitation for the newly resettled community is mandatory to safeguard them in the new environment.
Causes of resettlement:
The causes of resettlement can be of the following types—
1. Natural Disasters: These are one of the significant causes behind resettlement.
- An earthquake is a natural disaster caused by the sudden shaking of the earth’s surface.
- The earth’s crust is made of several plates known as tectonic plates.
- These tectonic plates constantly move on the earth’s mantle.
- While floating, when one tectonic plate slide over another one, an earthquake occurs.
- From the zone of the slide over, shock waves spread in all directions, which causes sudden shaking of the earth’s surface.
- Earthquakes can destroy an entire habitat, including trees, concrete roads, buildings, bridges, etc.
- They can induce a sudden outbreak of fire.
- Many people die and get injured due to the severity of an earthquake.
- As earthquakes cause extensive destruction of properties, people may need other places for resettlement.
- Floods happen when a dry land area suddenly becomes waterlogged due to the overflow of water.
- It may happen for various reasons, like continuous heavy rainfall over a long time.
- The water overflows from adjacent lakes, rivers, or reservoirs.
- Floods may cause deadly water-borne diseases like jaundice, cholera, typhoid, dengue, malaria, etc.
- They destroy vegetation, livestock, properties, and valuable belongings.
- A tsunami is a massive ocean wave caused by an underwater earthquake or volcanic eruption.
- A tsunami can produce a series of enormous waves that can cause severe damage to man-made structures.
- When earthquakes happen underwater, the ocean floor suddenly lifts or slides down, causing a sudden displacement of the ocean water that creates massive waves.
- After the tsunami, many water-borne diseases spread, causing severe health hazards.
- The huge waves formed by a tsunami are fatal as they can destroy houses and buildings and kill or injure people.
d) Cyclones, hurricanes, and typhoons:
- Cyclones, hurricanes, or typhoons are tropical storms mainly affecting coastal areas.
- During these storms, strong winds continuously spin around a centre.
- These storms always form above the warm ocean and hit land with heavy rains and strong winds.
- During cyclones, winds blow around 120 kilometres per hour.
- Such strong winds can uproot trees and can cause severe damage to life and property.
- After the storm subsides, places remain waterlogged for a long time, resources get destroyed, and drinking water gets contaminated, which makes normal life difficult in the affected areas.
- A wildfire is a massive, destructive, and uncontrolled fire that takes place in a forested area.
- Forest fires can happen for many reasons, and the causes could be natural or man-made.
- A lightning strike in a dry forest can cause fire that may destroy the whole forest.
- Sometimes these forest fires happen from campfires or lit cigarettes.
- Forest fires mainly destroy trees and shrubs, which are good resources for the local people dependent on forest products.
- A drought happens when a particular area does not get sufficient rainfall for a long period.
- It is an effect of a continuous period of dry weather.
- Crops and other plants do not grow in drought-affected areas due to the absence of water.
- Droughts can transform fertile land into a desert.
- Droughts can cause famine, and people may start to resettle in other fertile places to improve their lives.
g) Volcanic eruption:
- During a volcanic eruption, magma erupts from the opening of the volcano.
- The magma released from a volcano when it comes out is called lava. It has a high temperature and is fatal for all living organisms.
- A volcanic eruption can cause wildfires and destroy human habitats.
- It also destroys agricultural lands and deteriorates the water quality of the affected area.
- These are the reasons why people may need to resettle in other places after volcanic eruptions.
- Landslides happen when rocks, sand, and mud roll down the mountain slopes.
- They cause massive destruction because while moving down the slope, the rocks, mud, pebbles, and sand sweep away everything that falls on their paths, like houses, trees, shops, streetlights, etc.
- Roads and rivers are also blocked due to landslides.
- Landslides cause fatal accidents to humans and animals and destroy natural vegetation.
- Mostly deforestation and excessive rainfall are the reasons for landslides.
2. Man-made disasters: man-made incidents that force people to resettle in other areas are described below.
a) Industrial accidents:
- Industrial accidents may lead to the sudden discharge of toxic materials that may contaminate land and water.
- When people breathe this polluted air or drink contaminated water, they fall sick.
- Industrial accidents are fatal for all living beings.
- These accidents do not permanently destroy the habitat but make it unfit for living.
b) Collapse of dams:
- A dam collapses or bursts due to the sudden, uncontrolled release of excess water.
- Dam bursts can kill people and destroy homes.
- A dam failure causes flooding, and floods cause habitat destruction of both humans and animals, along with the occurrence of many water-borne diseases.
- Urbanisation is a continuous process in which a group of people moves from rural to urban areas, gradually congesting them.
- People move to the cities for many causes—more industries, better job opportunities, good communication, advanced medical facilities, and proper educational institutes.
- Apart from all these, people get a lot of social benefits in the cities rather than in villages.
Effects of resettlement:
a) Conflict over resources:
- When a large group of people resettles at a specific place, they leave everything behind to start a fresh life in the newly shifted place.
- It is obvious that all of them have to struggle for resources.
- The resource is mainly limited in the environment, so proper resource partitioning is necessary in society for everyone’s well-being.
- Resources include food, water, sunlight, soil, natural gas, electricity, etc.
b) Lack of jobs:
- When a large group of people resettles in another place, at least one person from every family should have a stable income to sustain life.
- In a new place, getting a job is challenging.
- So, resettled people often find it tougher to get a good job and live a well-off life.
c) Social and cultural issues:
- Sometimes the children of resettled people suffer from an identity crisis in the new environment.
- Suppose the family is resettled in a place where others are culturally different from them. In that case, the family struggles to understand and become familiar with the new cultural and social norms.
- A good idea and realising the new culture are equally crucial for social mixing.
d) Changes in the traditions of tribal people:
- Tribal people are culturally different from us as they have different customs, laws, and regulations.
- When tribal people resettle in other places, they lose the rich tradition of their indigenous culture and have to do jobs they are not experts at.
- Tribal people are mostly hunters, woodcutters, or work on agricultural lands.
e) Deforestation and extinction of wildlife:
- When a group of people resettles in a distant region, new houses are built for their accommodation.
- For this reason, forested areas are cleared, leading to deforestation.
- As a result, the number of animals residing in that area decreases rapidly.
- Many plants and animals have been tagged as rare or endangered due to this reason.
Migration: The movement of either people or animals from one area to another.
Livestock: Farm animals including sheep, pigs, goats, and cattle.
Magma: A hot liquid and semi-liquid rock located under the earth's surface that comes out during a volcanic eruption.
Habitat: A place where a living organism makes its home.
Famine: A situation where there is acute scarcity of food.
Indigenous: Native; existing naturally or having always lived in a place.
Did You Know?
- When a war breaks out in a country, people often start to resettle in other countries and are tagged as refugees.
- The common civet has become a rare animal because of habitat destruction due to urbanisation and resettlement.
- Many governmental and non-governmental organisations set up rehabilitation programmes for resettled people at various places to support them.