If there is a will there is a way: migration in relation to climate change


Many people migrate due to economic, social, political, demographic and environmental problems, such as drought, flooding, pollution and climate change.
People are forced out of their country due to natural disasters such as rising sea levels, extreme weather events, drought, flooding, and water scarcity. Migration has social, economic and political impacts on the origin of the country and where people end of living. There is a depletion of the young adult labor force, skilled and entrepreneurial talents, imbalance in the population pyramid, and discrimination among ethnic groups. Climate migration is dramatically increasing across the globe. According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) more than 20 million people are forcibly displaced by weather related sudden onset hazards each year and 12 million of them are from Africa.
Africa is most vulnerable due to its environmental degradation, poverty, and population growth, high dependence on rain-fed agriculture, deforestation, and weak governance system. According to an intergovernmental panel on climate change (IPCC), agriculture accounts for about 75% of the labor force. People in East Africa don’t have adequate access to food. Adverse weather also causes severe flooding and landslides which have far reaching consequences on agricultural production due to declining soil fertility, decreasing rainfall and increasing incidence of drought in east Africa particularly Ethiopia and Kenya.The migration pattern of young people in northern Ethiopia appears to respond directly to patterns of drought. In dry rural areas, once drought becomes particularly severe and other adaptation options are exhausted, entire families and communities migrate internally to where relief is expected to be available.
Somalia is struggling with extreme climate conditions, unreliable rainfall has triggered severe droughts with devastating impacts on communities and their livelihoods, increasing food insecurity, cash shortage and resulting migration and death of livestock. As CNN indicated, on March 2017, more than 100 people died in Somalia in 48hours. The UN assessment estimates that 4.7 million people – nearly 40% of Somali’s population are in need of humanitarian assistance. Therefore many people are displaced to other areas of Ethiopia.
The government is attempting to help Ethiopia adapt to climate change and local communities should follow suit to mitigate its effects.
This can include reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and getting everyone involved in the effort to conserve energy production reduce household energy consumption and modify agricultural production and individual consumption habits. The impacts of climate change are likely to affect all sectors of society and the natural world. The way in which this climate risk is realized depends on how individuals, societal sectors or ecosystems are exposed to hazards and how vulnerable they are.
In conclusion, if we all have the motivation to prevent climate change there is a way to do it. Some of the ways are mitigation, local adaptation, creating awareness in the society, promoting forestation, reforestation and getting into gardening, agro forestry and climate smart agriculture practices (CSA). We must strive to prevent and mitigate climate change so that there will be less flooding, drought, less migration, and also countries that are dependent on agriculture as livelihood could produce crops and increase their income. We all have to be candid and try our very best to help one another and prevent people from suffering and dying.
Jack Barkenbus. (2016).Implementing Local Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation Actions: The Role of Various Policy Instruments in a Multi-Level Governance Context.
UNDP Community Water Initiative: Fostering Water Security and Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation. (2010).
Vikram Kolmannskog. (December, 2009). Climate change, disaster, displacement and migration: initial evidence from Africa.
Science for environment policy. (2015). Migration in respond to environmental changes thematic issues.
Oli Brown. Migration and climate change. International organization for migration.

By Yeabsira Kefelegn