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Friday, 30 November 2012

Rainfall shifts pushing rural poor to migrate

Migration driven by changing rainfall patterns is on the rise in poor rural communities, as farming families struggle to grow enough food amid worsening droughts and floods. And unless they are helped to cope, governments may face large-scale movements of destitute people in the future, says a new research, quoted by Alertnet.
The study by CARE International and the U.N. University was carried out in diverse districts of eight countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America, and shows that vulnerable households - especially those with little land - are sending members away during hungry periods to find food or to earn money to buy food.
The most commonly reported changes include delayed and shorter rainy seasons, fewer rainy days per year, more frequent heavy rains, and more frequent prolonged dry spells in rainy seasons – perceptions that in most cases correlate with local meteorological data over recent decades, the study notes. In many cases, these changes were cited as key reasons for migrating.
The case studies - from Bangladesh, India, Thailand, Vietnam, Ghana, Tanzania, Guatemala and Peru - reveal that migration is often temporary and seasonal but can be permanent if no solutions are found to deal with rainfall variability and food insecurity.  Movement tends to be almost entirely within national borders, with the most common destinations being more productive agricultural areas in Ghana, Bangladesh and Tanzania, urban centres in Peru and India, mining areas in Ghana and industrial estates in Thailand and Vietnam.

Source: AlertNet