Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 547958
Title Droughts, livelihoods, and human migration in northern Ethiopia
Author(s) Hermans, Kathleen; Garbe, Lisa
Source Regional Environmental Change 19 (2019)4. - ISSN 1436-3798 - p. 1101 - 1111.
DOI https://doi.org/10.1007/s10113-019-01473-z
Department(s) Laboratory of Geo-information Science and Remote Sensing
PE&RC
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2019
Abstract Our study examines the effects of drought on livelihoods and human migration in the rural highlands of northern Ethiopia, one of the most affected regions during the 2015 drought. We conducted a household survey contextualized by focus group discussions in two rural sending areas. Drought intensity was similar in both areas, but drought impacts and farmer’s response strategies differed. Overall, we observed significant strategy changes, including a drastic shift from subsistence crop production to livestock sale among farmers being dependent on the March–June rainfall (belg season). Our results suggest that drought increases mobility, primarily through triggering short-term migration to closer destinations to cover immediate needs like food shortages. Four out of ten households in both regions engaged in migration. Nonetheless, migration tends to be context specific with respect to barriers and opportunities for participation, with distance, duration, and perceptions of migration as well as the underlying motives being region-specific. We conclude that understanding livelihood strategy changes requires an embedding in a larger context rather than focusing on one particular driver. Migration—one important livelihood strategy in northern Ethiopia—is the result of a complex interplay of factors, drought perhaps being only one of them. Based on our finding, we reason the decision to migrate is strongly moderated by the drought rather than it is directly driven by it.
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