With business as usual scenario, 11.8 million people will face internal migration due to climate change and associated impacts by 2031 and by 2041 it may rise to 21.3 million, speakers observed at a programme on Tuesday.
Bangladesh is expected to have a population between 195 million and 200 million by 2031 and 207million and 234 million by 2051.
It was found in a study that disasters are not the primary reasons of migration except for river erosion rather mostly it is livelihood that impacts on the decisions about migration.
Lack of diversified skills remains a key challenge for women and men to address impacts of climate change on livelihood; debt is a common factor for seasonal or even permanent migration; there is no mechanism or information system at the local government level to support the families who decide or are forced to migrate and the towns such as Khulna, Sunamganj and Naogaon are not ready to host mass migration (no infrastructure / facilities), the study found.
Findings of the study titled ‘Addressing Climate Induced Migration in Bangladesh: Taking a Human Rights-based Approach,’ were revealed at the Daily Star Bhaban in the city. ActionAid Bangladesh organised the event.
This research is part of the South Asia Migration and Climate (SAMAC) project, funded by the European Union through the International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD) managed project – Improving Migration Management in the Silk Routes Countries – in Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan, implemented by ActionAid, in collaboration with Climate Action Network South Asia (CANSA), and its partners.
The research was conducted in 13 communities of six districts.
These are – Bishwamvarpur upazila of Sunamganj, Dacope and Paikgachha of Khulna, Sapahar of Naogaon, Sitakunda, Patenga and Fayslake of Chattogram, Kalyanpur Pora Basti of Dhaka.
The study found that many families or a community – who once migrate to another place, are often forced to migrate mostly due to development interventions or social reasons.
In urban areas, fear of eviction remains a constant threat. Once migrated, the families do not get local government services as they are not the ‘Voters’ of the area.
Families living in remote areas i.e. Nolian of Dacope in Khulna are also far away from government services- remain trapped within the area.
Environmental challenges, challenges related to basic services such as water and sanitation, social struggles, lack of social security are major areas a migrant family faces in an urban slum. Uncertainty remains as day labourers – if they migrate once, do not have guarantee of work in the destination.
Women are triple burdened when the male member migrates. In few areas, women reported that they faced sexual and mental harassment from other men in the community as the HH male member migrated. Children face trauma during the process of migration.
In most of the cases, people’s solutions to address climate change and associated hazards were missing (especially in urban spaces).
Social protection remains a major people-led or people centric solution to address climate change-induced displacement and migration.