The impact of urbanization on household livelihood strategies : a comparative study of Maputsoe and Fobane.
Monts'i, Daniel Ratlala Palo.
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Most of the arable land in the lowlands of Lesotho including Maputsoe is under infrastructural development of residential settlements, large scale industries, roads and slum settlements which includes shacks and roadside spaza shops. These settlements have large human populations that derive their livelihood through wide range of activities. These activities comprised of subsistence agriculture in the form of crop production, livestock and vegetable production, formal work in both primary and secondary labour market, informal work such as niche markets in the service sector, petty commodity production and others. This thesis attempts to shed light on the impact of urban development on household livelihood strategies in the lowlands of Lesotho with specific focus to Maputsoe town. Although literature review indicates livelihood and urbanisation as two broad subjects that need special research on their own, the aim of this research focuses on impact of urbanisation on livelihood strategies. To achieve this the study looks at the activities entitled to households to generate livelihood as well as social and economic characteristics determining household livelihood strategies. To determine whether urban development has an effect to household livelihood strategies, the study compares household livelihood strategies in urban household sample (Maputsoe) to rural household sample (Fobane). The basis for choosing these two settlements was based on the understanding that household perceptions and opinions on impact of urbanisation on livelihoods will be different since Maputsoe is located in urban and Fobane in the rural area. To gather household perceptions, survey was conducted in both urban and rural area. Survey questions were formulated so as to determine factors affecting livelihood strategies as well as activities entitled to households to generate livelihood strategies. The analysis of results suggests three mam points influencing household livelihood strategies (they include household characteristics and social structure among both urban and rural households in the sample. They further include opportunities to employment among urban and rural households in a sample as well household assets among both urban and rural households. They show that both two samples are liable to less diverse livelihood strategies but due to conducieve environment favouring urban location. Maputsoe narrowly has more livelihood strategies per household than did Fobane. The results further prove the contention that urban development is likely to affect household livelihood strategies negatively or positively.