Thursday, September 12, 2013

Migration worsening climate stresses on Tanzania's city dwellers

Kizita Makoye at the Thomson Reuters Foundation: ...Dar es Salaam, Tanzania’s largest city, is among the fastest growing coastal cities in Africa. Its population of 3.5 million is expected to surge to over 10 million by 2040. Said Meck Sadick, the regional commissioner, says that the influx of people into Dar is caused by socio-economic factors such as poverty in rural areas, in large part due to prolonged drought.

“People abandon farming because they don’t see the way forward as their livelihoods are sorely dependent on rain-fed agriculture,” concurs Samuel Wangwe, a senior researcher with Policy Research for Development, or REPOA, a Tanzanian development research institution.

As Dar rapidly urbanises, most poor residents are pushed into zones prone to flooding and vulnerable to sea-level rise. And with authorities finding it difficult to curb migration into the city, its infrastructure is coming under pressure.

“We do not have a system in place to monitor people who come and (who are) getting out of the city, so it is difficult to have any plans to prevent the influx,” says Sadick.

Wangwe thinks the government should adopt policies to help farmers cope with climate change, such as introducing sustainable irrigation and drought-resistant crops, as well as insurance policies to cushion farmers from crop failures....

A market in Dar es Salaam, shot by Stefan Magdalinski, Wikimedia Commons via Flickr, under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license

No comments: