Migration major hurdle
Discussants at a workshop on “New Knowledge on Climate Change and Migration in Bangladesh” organised by Sussex Centre for Migration Research of the University of Sussex, and Refugee and Migratory Movements Research Unit of the University of Dhaka in Ruposhi Bangla Hotel in the capital yesterday. Photo: Star
Around 9.6 million people from 29 districts of the country will be bound to migrate domestically or internationally due to climate change by 2050, said a study.
Displacement and short-term internal migration are the most sensitive effects of climate change, according to the study, titled “Climate Change-Related Migration in Bangladesh”.
People will migrate for longer periods to earn a living and to cope with, or better adapt to, climate stresses.
The study was conducted jointly by the Refugee and Migratory Movements Research Unit (RMMRU), an affiliate of Dhaka University, and the Sussex Centre for Migration Research of the University of Sussex.
Dr Tasneem Siddiqui, founding chair of the RMMRU, presented the findings of the study at a workshop on “New Knowledge on Climate Change and Migration in Bangladesh” in the capital's Ruposhi Bangla Hotel yesterday.
The study based the prediction on the data of the national population censuses of 2001 and 2011, which observed that population growth rate in areas affected by flood, storm surge and riverbank erosion is lower than that in non-affected areas.
As part of the study, the RMMRU has recently conducted a survey on 1,500 households in Satkhira, Khulna, Chapainawabganj and Keraniganj of Dhaka to explore the fallout of climate change.
"Around 75 percent of the households faced different types of environmental stresses in their dwellings in different periods of life while more than half faced multiple stresses," the survey has shown.
Tasneem mentioned that although the government has some polices for international migration, it did not adopt any comprehensive policy to mitigate the problems of internal migration.
Falling victim to climate change, a large number of people from rural areas migrate to cities every year and work at garment and leather factories, brick kilns and suchlike, she added.
"The local adaptation policy of the government is not enough," Tasneem observed, stressing on the need for providing more training to the victims of climate change to turn them into skilled labour.
The Daily Star Editor Mahfuz Anam, who chaired the workshop, said the government entities should not waste time considering facing the challenges of climate change. They should rather make more effective plans immediately to meet the challenges.
Pointing out the inadequacy of the actions taken by the ministries concerned to protect the rivers and the cities, particularly the capital, he urged them to take concrete action and assured them of providing media support.
Md Hazrat Ali, additional secretary of the expatriates welfare and overseas employment ministry, said almost all the districts have technical training centres where the migrants can receive training and go abroad for better employment.
Dr Aparup Chowdhury, additional secretary of the Ministry of Environment and Forests, also spoke among others at the event.