Sanctuary in the City? Climate Change and Internally Displaced Persons in Harare, Zimbabwe

  • Vincent Itai TanyanyiwaEmail author
Part of the Climate Change Management book series (CCM)


Environmental migration is a multi-causal phenomenon occurring both regionally and internationally, yet one in which environmental drivers play a significant and increasingly determinative role. There has always been a fundamental interdependency between migration and the environment, but the reality of climate change adds new complexity to this nexus. Both gradual environmental change and slow- or sudden onset natural disasters influence population migration patterns. Natural disasters may be atmospheric or hydrological in nature, such as tropical storms or floods, with secondary impacts such as landslides. Some of the latter may be exacerbated by climate change. This study sought to explain how climate change has affected the welfare of the internally displaced populations in Mukuvisi Woodlands, Harare, as well as assessed the measures that have been put in place by both local and central government in integrating internally displaced populations. The study used an exploratory design focusing on key consultations and deliberations with different stakeholders. Purposive sampling was used to identify respondents who are known experts in the field. Respondent driven sampling was used initially to identify respondents who in turn provided referrals to a set number of other potentially informative respondents. The approach was used to select 20 respondents. Internal displacement is a significant consequence of global climate change processes of both a rapid and slow-onset nature, but there is a need for better understanding and research of these processes as well as the impacts and scale of displacement related to climate change. The relationship between environmental and climate change and migration is often complicated by the multifaceted associations with other factors, such as population growth, poverty, governance, human security and conflict. The complexities of the migration-environment nexus call for a comprehensive approach in policy, practice and research.


Climate change Coping Internally displaced person Livelihoods Migration 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Geography and Environmental Studies, Faculty of ScienceZimbabwe Open UniversityMt Pleasant HarareZimbabwe

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