Ministry of Environment, Climate and Wildlife in partnership with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) is escalating calls to mainstream migration and climate change issues into national polices and strategies.
The two organizations recently held a workshop at Great Zimbabwe Hotel with District Development Coodinators (DCC) from Masvingo and Midlands Provinces with the aim of establishing strategies that can be implemented to mainstream migration in climate change policies as a mitigatory measure against the effects of climate change.
The Deputy Director Climate Change Management Department in the Ministry of Environment, Climate and Wildlife Kudzai Ndidzano said the workshop was one of the five roundtable meetings with various stakeholders to discuss issues to do with making migration an adaptive measure against climate change.
He said climate change was a key driver of migration as people leave their areas of origin to other areas to find better livelihood options after facing the devastating effects of climate change.
“This meeting is one of the five roundtable meetings we want to have as the ministry in partnership and support from IOM. We want to establish ways we can use migration as an adaptive measure against the effects of climate change.
“People move from their areas of origin to find better agricultural soils and sometimes they are moved by natural disasters which mainly emanate from climate change.
“Under a project titled esteeming migration, environment and climate change, policies strategies and action plans, we are conducting stock take of the environment and climate change, policies and strategies and also looking at the national development blueprint NDS1 to see how it considers migration and also give recommendations to government so that these issues are mainstreamed in policies,” said Ndidzano
Acting director local government services in the Midlands Province Charlton Murove, said in his province there was a lot of migration due to flooding and the Civil Protection Unit (CPU) is encouraging people to move to higher grounds and that is migration caused by climate change and need to be considered in policy formulation.
‘In the Midlands, there are areas that were not prone to flooding but are now facing flooding challenges, this means people have to move from there to higher grounds as encouraged by the CPU. So for this to be done effectively, there is need for proper policies in place and this workshop seeks to establish that and I am sure it is going to be helpful since we have a lot of migration in the province,” said Murove.
He said there was a lot of movement mainly to Shurugwi and Mberengwa due to pull factors like minerals so the issue of migration cannot continue to be missing in government policies.
Chiredzi DDC Lovemore Chisema said his district was most affected by climate change which has a bearing on migration with people travelling to South Africa and Mozambique so talks about migration and climate change were critical.
“Our district being at the border between Mozambique and South Africa, so naturally people migrate to these areas and climate change worsens the situation and young people after completing grade seven move out so because of this continuous movement, there is need for migration policies in conjunction with climate change.
“Though we cannot stop migration, we have strategies with government help, to reduce the movement. We are establishing livelihood activities especially in the agriculture sector because we need these people to contribute to the development of our country and their areas.