Climate Change driving migration in East Africa, Tanzania researchers say

Africa Science News
A man stands by carcasses of livestock in Dinsoor district, southern Somalia where a devastating drought has wiped out thousands of livestock and left pastoralist families desolate. ; Three consecutive failed rainy seasons in Somalia has led to a devastating drought that has decimated crops and livestock. In November 2021, the government of Somalia declared a state of emergency due to the urgency of the situation. By February 2022, 4.3 million people were reported to have been affected by the drought, a 34 percent spike from December 2021. 1.4 million children are likely to suffer from acute malnutrition due acute food shortages. Women and girls, making up half of the displaced population, face a heightened risk of sexual violence and abuse as they spend more time away from their homes in search of food. In response UNHCR is working with humanitarian partners in the country to provide much needed aid. So far, 6,000 families (36,000 individuals) have been assisted with relief items such as such as mattresses, blankets, plastic sheets, water containers, cooking utensils and hygiene items. In Galmudug and Puntland regions where the situation is most dire, similar assistance has been provided to some 3,700 families (22,000 individuals).

By Henry Neondo

Climate change effects, if not well managed could see massive displacement of people with low adaptive capacity in East African. This, according to a recent research could cause displacements and endless migration to cities or rural areas with favourable weather leading to a rise in inter-communal conflicts.
According to the research by Reginald Chetto, Makarius Mdemu, Jacob Kihila all from the Ardhi University, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, farmers and livestock keepers in Tanzania, Kenya, and Uganda are most affected.
“There is notable rise in the migration of low-climate resilient communities in East Africa as a result of such Climate change effects as drought, livestock, and crop diseases, a research has shown,” said the three Dar es Salaam-based researchers whose work appears in the Environmental Science and Sustainable  Development journal .
The recent research agrees with earlier work by the World Bank Report and the European Union who caution that climate change will primarily drive human migration in Africa and other developing regions warning that climate change-driven migration a matter of national security.
according to the researchers, rapid onset environmental factors such as floods and wildfires, and chronic environmental stresses such as drought are the push factors driving migration in the region.
Early may this year, Kenya’s Ministry of Interior and National Administration reported more than 300 people to have died and over 400,000 people displaced due to flooding that started in March.
In Tanzania, the UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs reported 637,000 people to have been affected including 234,000 displaced during the May 2024 flooding in the country while in Uganda, the UN OCHA reported 18,323 people to have been affected, including thousands of displaced families, with 1,129 houses and several crop lands and infrastructures completely destroyed in Mbale, Kapchorwa, Bulambuli, Bukedea, Butaleja, Sironko, Bududa, and Namisindwa.
The researchers suggest lessening promoting alternative non-farm livelihood activities through vocational skills training could potentially help to reduce the direct impact of climate change on the livelihood of farmers and livestock keepers and thus reduce the need for migration
They add that aAlternative livelihood could also enhance adaptive capacity through the generated non-farm income.
They add that when migration is the only reasonable option, such as during climate change-induced disasters, strengthening climate change adaptation policy by incorporating mobility options in National Adaptation is essential.
“This will help ensure that migration in response to climate change is well governed and coordinated,” they said.

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