Floods And Climate Induced Migration


The geological record clearly demonstrates the fact that the climate has undergone great variation throughout the planet’s history. The process of climate change, however, has been more a result of human activity than of natural factors ever since the Industrialization, when fossil energy consumption expanded dramatically and, consequently, the production of greenhouse gases. Currently, there is big scientific opinion that the unprecedented global climatic change in human history is caused by our present system of production and energy use. Even though it is already having an adverse effect on the environment and the global economy,

Human migration is fueled by extreme water events that alter the availability of water for drinking, cooking, washing, and agriculture. Floods also are one example of the catastrophic water disasters that will occur more frequently and negatively as rainfall intensify due to climate change. By 2050, more than a billion people will have migrated due to water extremes and climate change. According to the International Organization of Migration, people who migrate due to any environmental problem or climate disaster are called environmental migratnts and they perform climate induced migration. It has defined as: ‘’The term “environmental migrants” refers to individuals or groups of individuals who are compelled to relocate either domestically or internationally because of an abrupt or gradual change in their environment that negatively impacts their lives.’’ Climate induced migration can be both temporary and permanent.


As one third of Pakistan is drowned in flood and because of this disaster people in affected areas have to move for the survival. Floods have already caused enough of the life loss and economic loss as well. Whenever the migration occurs locally, government is responsible to take care of the needs of the migrants but government itself is facing economic issues. It is not possible for Pakistan to look after the needs of the migrants without the assistance of the NGO’S and international assistance. If the migrants are not taken care of while they have already been gone through the trauma caused by the floods, their frustration can lead towards the conflict as well. Their foremost need is survival and for that they can go to any extent. The government has to take care of all their needs or else they will have grievances. People are moving towards the urban areas and especially towards the main cities. If there needs will not be fulfilled then there is a high chance of high crime rates as well.


To date, this mobility has been largely internal and increasingly an urban phenomenon, with many of those displaced and migrating moving to urban areas. Although the majority of people displaced or migrating as a result of climate impacts remain in their countries of origin, the accelerating trend in climate-related global displacement is also increasing cross-border movement, particularly where climate change is linked to conflict and violence. Understanding the underlying causes of migration and developing proactive, humane management strategies are crucial as the effects of climate change worsen. These strategies should also take into account any geographic or environmental factors that would disproportionately contribute to the destabilization of economically or politically significant regions. Climate migration or climate displacement are terms that describe a large number of migration scenarios related to climate change. However, each has a more specific meaning and both are different from planned relocation. Migration might be driven by increasingly severe conditions or it can happen proactively in response to climate impacts on livelihoods and well-being. It can be temporary, seasonal, cyclical, or permanent. An entire community is typically shifted as part of a planned relocation, which is carried out by the relevant governments, ideally in collaboration with the affected communities.



Hamna Seyyed

Research Associate, Pakistan House

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