Cycles of Vulnerability and Migration: A Case Study of Migration and Climate Variability in the Niono District of Mali

Sally E. Findley, Columbia University
Seydou Doumbia, Malaria Research and Training Center

In 2001-2002, we conducted a longitudinal survey of 382 households in 11 villages in 3 eco-production zones in Niono, Mali to assess how households in each zone incorporate migration into their coping strategies. Excess rain years were associated with higher production for families without irrigation but lower production for those with irrigation, and conversely for rain deficit years. 43% of the households had at least one migrant. 51% of households without migrants had access to irrigation, compared to 80% of households with in-migrants and 90% of households with circular migrants. Only 40% of households with out-migrants had access to irrigation. (F=8.8,p<001). Migration seems a critical link allowing families without irrigation to compensate for anticipated production losses in a rainfall deficit year by moving to the irrigated zone, while it enables those with irrigation to seek income outside the zone when production is lowered due to flooding in excess rain years.

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Presented in Session 57: Environmental Impacts on Population Dynamics and Health