On 12 May 2016, the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) through its Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) launched its annual publication “The Global Report on Internal Displacement (GRID)”, identifying climate change and related natural hazards, such as droughts, sea-level rise and desertification as increasingly important factors causing internal displacement.
This policy and practice brief by the African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Conflicts (ACCORD) addresses the impacts of the large number of refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Africa’s Great Lakes region.
Ask Agnes Namukasa about sustainably managing fisheries in Kachanga, the lakeshore landing site she calls home in Uganda’s Masaka District, and you will soon learn about toilets. From her perspective, community members won’t address conflict between government enforcers and fishers, competition among neighboring villages, or pollution threatening aquatic ecosystems until they can first organize to address their most pressing daily needs. And in Kachanga, where chronic childhood diarrhea and a host of other illnesses stem from poor sanitation, those essentials include public latrines.
Many Cameroonians who rely on the Logone River for their survival have been forced to flee inland, as rising waters, storms and flooding destroy their homes and fishing boats.
The migrant crisis in the Mediterranean is symptomatic of deep dislocation in the Sahel region and sub-Saharan Africa — dislocation exacerbated by climate change.
Climate change is affecting such basic environmental conditions as rainfall patterns and temperatures and is contributing to more frequent natural disasters like floods and droughts. Over the long term, these changing conditions can undermine the rural livelihoods of farming, herding and fishing. The resulting rural dislocation is a factor in people’s decisions to migrate.