By TZ Business News Staff.
A World Bank report released at the end of October 2021 warns East African nations in the so-called Lake Victoria Basin could see between 16.6 and 38.5 million people moving within their countries in response to water scarcity, declines in crop productivity and ecosystem productivity–and sea level rise augmented by storm surge.
The report calls for concrete ‘green’ climate and development policy action in the five Lake Victoria Basin countries of Burundi, Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania to avert this impending catastrophe.
The Basin is located in the upstream of river Nile with a total area of about 251,000 km2. Tanzania covers the largest part of the basin (44%), followed by Kenya (22%), Uganda (16%), Rwanda (11%) and Burundi (7%).
The report titled Internal Climate Migration in the Lake Victoria Basin Countries is part of the World Bank’s Groundswell Africa series. It reaffirms the potency for climate change to drive internal migration in the Basin.
Ahead of the 2021 Glasgow COP 26 Conference on climate change, the World Bank released on October 27, 2021 two reports from the Groundswell Africa series which focused on internal climate migration in West Africa and the Lake Victoria Basin. The reports say the continent will be hit the hardest by climate change–with up to 86 million Africans to be forced to migrate within their own countries by 2050.
Collective action to promote green, inclusive, and resilient development could however reduce the scale of climate migration by 30% in the Lake Victoria region and as much as 60% in West Africa, the reports say.
The reports build on a groundbreaking 2018 report which included a special chapter on Africa–and follow from Groundswell 2 published in September on East Asia and the Pacific, North Africa, Eastern Europe and Central Asia.
Without concrete climate and development action, the five Lake Victoria Basin countries could see between 16.6 and 38.5 million people moving within their countries in response to water scarcity, declines in crop productivity and ecosystem productivity, and sea level rise, augmented by storm surge.
The report’s analysis also includes consideration of nonclimate factors.
The countries will see an emergence of climate in- and climate out-migration hotspots, as early as 2030, but with continued spread and intensification by 2050. But concrete climate and development action could reduce the scale of internal climate migration across the Basin by 30 percent.
No country in the Lake Victoria Basin is immune to internal climate migration, but there are differences among countries depending on their demographic, economic, and climate trends. Tanzania and Uganda are projected to have the highest numbers of internal climate migrants by 2050, reaching a high of 16.6 million and 12.0 million, respectively, under the pessimistic scenario (which combines high emissions with unequal development pathways).
This will be followed by Kenya (7.6 million), Rwanda (1.2 million), and Burundi (1.0 million).
This report presents the Migration and Climate-informed Solutions (MACS) framework that brings together domains of action, buttressed by core policy areas, to reduce the scale of climate-induced migration, usher in social and economic transformations, and reduce vulnerabilities.
This anticipatory approach will ensure that the countries in the Basin are braced not just for the challenges but have the readiness to harness the opportunities of internal climate migration.
The urgency to reduce greenhouse gases remains paramount to reduce the scale of climate impacts that could otherwise drive increased levels of climate migration – the window of opportunity is rapidly narrowing. (Citation: “Rigaud, Kanta Kumari; de Sherbinin, Alex; Jones, Bryan; Adamo, Susana; Maleki, David; Arora, Anmol; Casals Fernandez, Anna Taeko; Chai-Onn, Tricia; Mills, Briar. 2021. Groundswell Africa : Internal Climate Migration in the Lake Victoria Basin Countries. World Bank, Washington, DC. © World Bank. https://openknowledge.worldbank.org/handle/10986/36403 License: CC BY 3.0 IGO.”