Kickstarting work on addressing climate-related displacement at the local government level 

From 12-14 October Prof. Mo Hamza and Dr Matthew Scott led an inception workshop at Lake Naivasha in Kenya with public sector professionals working on local and county government issues in Uganda, Kenya and Sierra Leone. The purpose of the workshop was to kickstart a learning exchange programme focusing on how local authorities can address climate-related displacement into and within municipalities. The programme, which is supported by the Swedish Institute, is inspired by the Global Mayors Action Agenda on Climate and Migration. It aims to strengthen the capacities of local actors to understand displacement dynamics and to use their varied expertise across town planning, accounting, communication, gender equality, emergency preparedness for response and other areas to identify practical measures that can be taken to enhance the enjoyment of human rights by displaced people as well as host communities.

Participants in the workshop identified a variety of forms of displacement already evident in their communities. Participants described how people move from the drought affected Karamoja region in north-eastern Uganda into Kampala and lack resources to support themselves. Other participants described Kampala as ‘the shock absorber for people in places prone to floods, landslides, famine and drought.’ Flooding was also identified as a cause of displacement within municipalities such as Ruiru, in Kiambu County in Kenya. One underlying cause of displacement is that people have built close to the rivers so when it rains and floods, those people are displaced, often for weeks at a time. Heavy rains also contribute to landslides in Freetown in Sierra Leone, affecting in particular people living in informal settlements.  

 Using the Framework for Integrating Human Rights and Gender Equality (FIRE), participants worked together to develop action plans for how they will build profiles of displacement issues from the perspective of local authorities. Combining their expert knowledge of how local government plans and makes decisions, what resources are available and where further support might be needed, these profiles systematically examine the following dimensions relevant to displacement into and within the municipalities: 

Governance systems and structures 

Fundamental rights and equality 

Participation and access to information 

Non-discrimination 

Agency and empowerment 

Social norms and context 

The profiles will be built over the course of seven modules and will be presented at a final event in one of the three participating countries in August 2023. 

For more information contact: 

Dr Matthew Scott 

matthew.scott@rwi.lu.se 

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