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Tsegay, Bereket (2021) Land, climate change and internal migration among the Wolayta youth of southwest Ethiopia. London: EU Trust Fund for Africa (Horn of Africa Window) Research and Evidence Facility.

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In Ethiopia, internal migration of youth from rural to urban centres is a significant and growing phenomenon. Rapid urbanisation, greater investment in cities and the lack of opportunities in rural areas for farm and off-farm employment are some of the primary reasons behind the growing migration of young people from rural to urban areas. A range of issues related to rural poverty and lack of opportunities influences internal migration. This study investigates the combined impact of land scarcity and fragmentation, and climate change on the high incidence of migration of youth from the Wolayta Zone in Ethiopia’s Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples Region. Wolayta youth’s migration to urban or peri-urban areas of Ethiopia is driven by a range of socioeconomic and environmental factors. Land poverty and exclusionary governance, fragmentation, a lack of off-farm opportunities and climate change have converged to create a situation where young people have little choice but to move to urban areas to eke out a living. Creating and sustaining youth livelihoods remains an urgent issue of concern in Wolayta as in other parts of rural Ethiopia. The present study uses the Humbo Assisted Natural Regeneration Project – a collaboration between the Government of Ethiopia and development partners – to illustrate how external interventions in resource-poor and ecologically degraded areas can be opportunities not only for combatting climate change but also for creating climate-friendly, income-generating livelihoods. Such projects can, thus, provide options for diversified livelihoods strategies for young people that avoid the need for distress migration or displacement.

Item Type: Monographs and Working Papers (Other)
SOAS Departments & Centres: Departments and Subunits > Department of Development Studies
Date Deposited: 25 Mar 2022 17:55
Funders: European Union

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