Sub-Saharan Africa has contributed the least to global warming. Yet, the continent will experience the most devastating impacts of climate change.
New World Bank Groundswell Africa reports highlight that urgent, collective action to support green, inclusive, and resilient development could reduce the scale of climate migration by 30 % in the Lake Victoria region and as much as 60 % in West Africa.
The Groundswell Africa series is a sequel to the 2018 Groundswell report and complements the recently released Groundswell II report by providing in-depth analysis on the potential scale and spread of internal climate migration in West African and the Lake Victoria Basin, with country-level analysis for Nigeria, Senegal, Tanzania, and Uganda to better inform policy dialogue and action.
Deep dive on Lake Victoria Basin
The Lake Victoria Basin has a long history of trade, nomadic pastoralism, and dry season migration for livelihood diversification. Migration in the five basin countries—Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, and Burundi— is intrinsically linked to the history, traditions, and social fabric of its people.
The Basin contains the largest tropical freshwater lake in the world and has relatively moderate temperatures throughout the year. Climate change stressors, such droughts or flooding, endanger ecological resilience and affect migration patterns as they thwart agricultural crops, food production systems, and water resources and place increasing pressure on urban areas.
By 2050, up to 38.5 million people could be compelled to move within the Basin countries due to climate factors. Tanzania will see the highest number of internal climate migrants reaching 16.6 million, followed by Uganda with 12 million. Concerted climate and development action can reduce the scale of adverse climate migration significantly.