As the climate warms, parts of Rwanda are becoming more vulnerable to floods and landslides.
In some places, the nation’s government has required residents to relocate to new, planned villages in less dangerous areas.
Lisa Dale is with the Columbia Climate School. Her team interviewed dozens of Rwandans who moved from two rural islands on Lake Rweru.
All of them said they wanted to relocate. Their new village is less isolated and they can access important services there, like health care, transportation, electricity, and school.
But they also face new struggles.
In the past, families sustained themselves by fishing and farming.
“They can no longer fish because they’re inland. And they find that their crops don’t grow. The eastern province where this village is located is well-known for being hot and dry,” Dale says.
So the transition has been difficult.
Dale’s research underscores the complexity of climate migration.
Relocation holds the promise of making people safer and can improve their lives in multiple ways. But it can also introduce new challenges that require ongoing support to overcome.
Reporting credit: Sarah Kennedy/ChavoBart Digital Media