Analyzing Socio-economic Characteristics of Itinerant Beggars in Mekelle City, Northern Ethiopia

Etsay Hagos Tekle


Despite the fact that begging is both worldwide and ancient phenomena, it is more insidious in developing countries. Regarding this, being one of the urban centers in developing countries, Mekelle city is not an exception because there are rampant incidences and practices of begging in general and itinerant begging in particular. The objective of this study, therefore, is analyzing the socio-economic characteristics of itinerant beggars in Mekelle city, Northern Ethiopia. Largely, qualitative research design was employed in this research to collect and analyze data. The study employed 120 samples selected using convenience sampling method and 10 interviewees from the beggardom population. Data was generated through the administration of structured questionnaire that consisted close and open ended query, qualitative in-depth interview and observation. Finally, data inquiry was analyzed using descriptive data analysis method presented in the form of tables, frequencies and percentages. The result revealed that although the itinerant beggars are characterized by socio-economic hardships, they involved in begging not because they couldn’t find other alternatives but they consider begging as a work. Thus, much more effort is needed to bring attitudinal change. Besides, an instrument should be devised on the regulation and governance of begging in general and itinerant begging in particular which can help avoid or reduce begging mainly by the non-handicapped section of the society.

Keywords: Beggars, Itinerant begging, Mekelle City, Socio-economic Characteristics, Begging Strategies 

DOI: 10.7176/JPID/53-03

Publication date:March 31st 2020

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