The Influence of Climate Change on Migration Drivers in Shinyanga Region, Tanzania

Magreth S. Bushesha


This paper takes forward the knowledge frontiers regarding the influence of climate change on migration by answering the question why people do outmigrate in the semi arid areas of Tanzania. The paper explores ways in which climate change influences migration decisions among communities in very specific local scales with reference to Shinyanga District. The study is descriptive in nature. Data was collected through interviewing key informants, household survey, field observation and documentary review. Perceptions indicate that climate change manifests through erratic rains hence unpredictable seasonality; decreased storm size,  reduced wet season, and prolonged dry season. Temperature is on a rising trend, and wind speed is on the increasing side. Frequent crop failure, reduced water resources, degraded soils, reduced fish resources, outbreak of non-common pests  and diseases, disappearance of some animal and tree spices  and reduced pasture all negatively impact the agricultural economic system, in turn, this compromises the community's social system.  Search for more fertile land, pasture, waged labour in nearby villages and search for jobs in towns are some of the identified reasons for outmigration in response to the challenges posed by climate change on the agricultural economic system. The paper informs policy on the urgency of proper action against climate change and related stresses in the country. Food relief programmes and transformation of the agricultural economic system are highly recommended to support adaptation to climate change in the study area. The study also recommends facilitation of research work which thrusts to excavate the social, economic and environmental implications of climate change forced migration in destinations.

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