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Migration, environment and rural livelihoods in Ghana

Kees van der Geest (Human Geographer) University of Amsterdam

Overview of presentation
 Introduction to the research  Sustainable rural livelihood approach  Methodology  Show the flow (census data)  Earlier research findings

Original research question

 What are the economic and environmental consequences of rural-to-rural migration in the areas of origin and destination?  Area level;  Not people-centred

Proposed research question

 What are the consequences of rural-to-rural migration for rural peoples livelihoods in the areas of origin and destination? Alternative:  What are the consequences of rural-to-rural migration for the SUSTAINABILITY of rural peoples livelihoods in the areas of origin and destination?

Location in the migration typology matrix

    Internal migration Rural-rural migration Emphasis on consequences of migration Analysis at two ends: area(s) of origin and area(s) of destination  Integrative: micro-level agency; meso-level networks and macro-level structures  Interdisciplinary: human geography, anthropology, economy and perhaps some physical geography

Sustainable Rural Livelihoods Framework

 Scoones (1998); Ellis (1998 and 2000); Carney (1998); de Haan (1999)  Migration as one of three main livelihood activities that are inter-related  Activity portfolio depends on asset base, access relations and (structural, but changing) context  Activity portfolio affects livelihood security and environmental sustainability

Sustainable Rural Livelihoods Framework (Adapted from Carney 1998: 5)

C apital A ssets Vulnerability C ontext * Trends * Shocks * Culture Physical Transforming Structures & Processes * * * * * * overnm ent Private sector Law s Policies Incentives Institutions Livelihood Strategies * * R-based on- R based * igration


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Questions in area of origin

How does migration affect the asset base of those who stay behind?
 Natural capital: land, trees, water  Human capital: education, skills, labour  Physical capital: housing, infrastructure, livestock, tools  Financial capital: cash, savings, credit  Social capital: networks, relations, institutions

Questions in area of origin (cont.)

How does migration affect the livelihood activities of those who stay behind?  Crop cultivation, livestock production and other natural resource based activities  Local non-farm activities

Questions in area of origin (cont.)

How does migration affect the institutions, relations, division of labour, rules of the game, etc. that determine access to resources?  Gerontocracy  Gender  Land tenure  Income inequality  Organisations, etc.

Expected problems in area of origin

 How to isolate the influence of migration from other agents of change  How to isolate rural-rural migration to BAR from other destinations (not necessary?)  Different types of migration have different impacts (permanent out-migration, seasonal migration, return migration)  Long-term and short-term effects

Questions in destination area

 The basic questions are the same as in the area of origin, but the livelihood context is different and migration plays an opposite role. Hence: different questionnaire  Whose livelihoods: migrants or hosts?  Are livelihoods in destination area more secure than in the area of origin?

Expected problems in the destination area

 For temporary settlers, the link between environment and livelihoods may be less strong or direct.  To analyse the environmental consequences of in-migration, the area level may be more appropriate (deforestation, loss of biodiversity).

Questions in the transregional space

 How do multi-spatial livelihoods function to reduce risk and increase livelihood security?  What is the autonomy of individuals in dispersed family networks?

Expected problems in the transregional space

 Questionnaire survey findings will probably provide some answers, but more in-depth analysis of a few multi-spatial families will be necessary.  Case-specific  Not statistically representative

What is relatively new?

 Link between migration and environmental consequences in area of origin  In migration and development debate: Link between migration, other rural livelihood options (local farm and non-farm activities) and a more diverse set of assets  Dispersed livelihood system analysis

 Quantitative and qualitative data The core:  Questionnaire survey  In-depth analysis: individual migration histories in the context of family networks and opportunity structure and with a focus on intra-household negotiations

Methodology (cont.)
Other methods and techniques  Focus group discussion in destination area (community level analysis and input for questionnaire)  Census data analysis  Literature review for macro level analysis

Methodology (cont.)
Optional ideas  Short questionnaire for local, autochthonous population in destination area  Field measurements  GIS application to analyse satellite images of vegetation change  Seasonal migrant diaries

Policy contributions?
Recommendations to government agencies and NGOs to help the people reduce the negative consequences of migration and further develop the positive ones in areas of:  Services  Investment opportunities  Environmental management  Land tenure

The flow: Ghana Census 2000

 About 31% of people born in the UWR have migrated to another region in Ghana  About 12.5 % of people born in the UWR have migrated to the Brong Ahafo Region  For both, about 45% are women  About 5% of the inhabitants of the BrongAhafo Region were born in the UWR

Ghana Census 2000 (cont.)

 More than 50% of the Dagaba people are no longer living in the UWR (including second generation)  About 18% are living in the BAR where they form About 7% of the population  Dagaba people have mostly settled in the Central-Northern part of the region

Ghana Census 2000 (cont.)

Seasonal migration:  8% of UWR-ers counted elsewhere in the country Return migration:  1.3% of those counted in the UWR were usual residents of other regions five years ago

M.A. Research
 Livelihood adaptation to climate change among rural households in Northwest Ghana  Important role of migration

Findings on migration
Context:  Agro-ecological conditions  Population density  Macro-level: structuralist explanations Individual / Household / Lineage level:  Some survey findings  Livelihood histories and in-depth analysis

Agro-ecological conditions
 Uni-modal rainfall pattern in N-Ghana, bimodal in S-Ghana  High variability of rainfall in N-Ghana  Decreasing amounts of rainfall in N-Ghana  Low soil fertility in N-Ghana

Annual rainfall and inter-annual varia ility in awra (1926-1979) and Nandom (80-99)
1800 1600 1400 1200 1000 800 600 400 200 0
1926 1930 1934 1938 1942 1946 1950 1954 1958 1962 1966 1970 1974 1978 1982 1986 1990 1994 1998 Annual Rainfall 10 year moving variability 10 year moving average

Annual Rainfall (mm)

15 10 5 0

Variability (%)

35 30 25 20

Population density
 Upper West Region: 34 inh/km2  Lawra District: 90 inh/km2  Brong-Ahafo Region: 46 inh/km2

Macro-level: structuralhistorical explanations

 Around 1900: Colonial rule in area of origin  Forced migration  Cocoa boom  Northern Ghana as a labour reservoir for southern export economy  No investments: perpetuation of migration  Increased cash needs

Survey findings (60 hh)

 Seasonal Labour Migration  Dispersed Family Networks  Remittances  Return migration

Seasonal labour migration

38 seasonal migrants in 29 out of 60 households Young male dominance Mainly agricultural work (maize and yam) Average net savings: 85 US$ Represented 8% of total household income, but more in poor and middle income households  Important: money from outside local economy  Decreased pressure on food supply  No data on how exactly the money was spent     

Dispersed family networks

 Everybody has close relatives down south  In rural areas as well as in urban centres  Female as well as male  Educated, white collar workers as well as unskilled labourers  Family members move between places

 41 households received monetary remittances  Average amount: 28 US$, which was a bit less than revenue from livestock sales and about 4% of household income  Mostly from rural-urban migrants  No data on how money was exactly spent, but much on education  17 households received at least 100 kg of maize

Return migration
 Only in raw data  Relate to other livelihood characteristics