Climate migration in Kenya, Iraq and Pakistan

As of 6 September this year, only 900 out of more than 100,000 pregnant women from Sindh province, displaced by floods in Pakistan, reached relief camps. The Civil Hospital in Dadu city alone admitted 72,000 people over several days, often with stomach aches, malaria and diarrhoea. The floods occurred as a result of record monsoon rains and melting glaciers in the mountains, in the north of the country. We discuss the disaster in Pakistan and the floods as a consequence of climate change with experts in last week’s episode of the Outriders podcast.

The Baringo Lake in the semi-arid volcanic region of the Great Rift Valley in Kenya has doubled in size in the last 10 years, mainly due to heavy rainfall associated with climate change. The expanding reservoir is engulfing homes, hotels and farmland, and crocodiles and hippos have appeared near human settlements. More than 3 000 households have been affected in the floods. These changes are forcing residents to migrate. Baringo is one of 10 lakes in Kenya’s Great Rift Valley that have grown over the last decade.

The UN describes Iraq as the fifth most vulnerable country in the world to climate change. According to Berkeley Earth, temperatures there have risen by 1.8°C within 30 years, and in summer 50-degree heat destroys crops and drains wetlands. Chances of survival are evaporating with the water. The changing climate is forcing families to sell their livestock and migrate to urban centres, such as Basra, in search of work and a better life. However, this city is unprepared for the growing population and increasingly high temperatures.

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