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Urban squatters, the informal sector and livelihood strategies of the poor in the Fiji Islands

Mohanty, Manoranjan (2006) Urban squatters, the informal sector and livelihood strategies of the poor in the Fiji Islands. Development Bulletin, 70 . pp. 65-68. ISSN 1035-1132

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The growth of urban squatter settlements is a common problem in developing countries. They are a particular challenge to small island developing states such as Fiji, where with increasing urbanisation, there has been an unprecedented growth in their numbers. In Fiji, a squatter is defined as ‘a person who is in illegal occupation of state, freehold or native land or without any form of security of tenure or without any consent from the landowner’ (Lingam 2005:2). Common characteristics of squatter settlements are lack of basic urban infrastructure, poor living conditions, poverty, and low energy consumption per capita. They usually provide unhealthy living environments and can give rise to crime and other social problems. An understanding of the livelihood strategies poor squatters adopt is crucial to understanding how the poor cope in urban environments. Squatters usually have extremely limited resources, no assets and very few livelihood choices. Most get absorbed into the urban informal sector and it is through the process of ‘informalisation’ that poverty can be alleviated and the poor make a living. This paper examines the current trends in urban squatter growth in Fiji and its contributing factors and explores the role of the informal sector as a livelihood strategy for squatters in Suva, Fiji.

Item Type: Journal Article
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare
Divisions: Faculty of Business and Economics (FBE) > School of Government, Development and International Affairs
Depositing User: Ms Neha Harakh
Date Deposited: 16 Mar 2006 23:04
Last Modified: 11 May 2012 08:06

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