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Large of numbers of people really leave home because of environmental problems - Essay Example

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It is common for most people to get the comfort they need from their homes. However, a number of factors force people to move away from their homes. Human beings have no control over these…
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Large of numbers of people really leave home because of environmental problems
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Environmental Problems That Cause Movement of People From Their Homes Introduction A number of factors influence the decisions of individuals on their place of residence. It is common for most people to get the comfort they need from their homes. However, a number of factors force people to move away from their homes. Human beings have no control over these factors. The most common of these push factors is the emergence of war and conflict. Many people move away from their homes to other locations to escape from the effects of war and conflicts. However, scholars and other agencies have discovered new developments that force people to flee to other locations. The environment is one of these developments that are influencing the movement of people from their homes. The environment encompasses a number of factors in it including climatic change (Schipper and Pelling, 2006). Most of these environmental factors are natural, and human beings do not have the ability to prevent them. The effects of these environmental factors are so severe that they force people flee their homes.
Environmental factors that force people to move away from their homes
The United Nations High Commission on Refugees (UNHCR) recent reports indicate that the number of environmental refugees has increased suggesting the severity of this matter. The factors that force people to move away from their homes can be summarized into two broad categories. These broad categories are climatic change factors and natural disasters.
Climatic change factors
Climatic change accounts for the majority of environmental migration cases (Afolayan and Adelekan, 2009). Global warming affects the ecosystem, which leads to drying up of rivers and other sources of water. Individuals have no access to clean water to sustain their life. Others whose livelihoods come from farming have no water to irrigate their lands. Lack of water will force people to move to other locations that have adequate water. Climatic change affects health, availability of food and water, the ecosystem and the coastal regions, which affect the settlements of individuals.
Food is a basic factor that is necessary for the survival of human beings. Most people especially in Africa depend on farming to provide them with food. Weather and climatic changes in some regions are becoming increasingly unpredictable nowadays due to degradation of the environment (Ezra, 2001). Individuals will move to other areas that are productive in terms of farming. Some areas are prone to diseases due to the environment. For instance, cold areas are breeding sites for mosquitoes. Rainfall causes development of swamps in some areas. These swamps create breeding sites for mosquitoes. Places infested by mosquitoes are unfit for human settlement and can force one to move to other safe locations.
Natural disasters
These catastrophes affect the settlement of human beings. There are a number of elements that are in this broad category of national disasters. In the recent past, earthquakes have claimed the lives of many individuals in the nations they occur. China is an example of the countries that are affected severely by earthquakes. Continuous occurrence of earthquakes in a region can force a person to move away from his or her home.
Connected to earthquakes are the storm winds that occur in coastal towns. These winds cause a lot of destruction to property with some causing death of people. An individual will move away from these regions due to the risk associated with the storms. Floods cause displacement of people and destruction of property in the areas they occur. Apart from displacement of people, floods lead to accumulation of water, which leads to the outbreak of waterborne diseases. Outbreak of a serious water-borne disease and constant floods force people to move away from their homes.
Landslides affect many nations with sloppy terrain. There are some regions that experience landslides constantly especially during the rainy season. Areas affected by landslides are unfit for human settlement due to the risk of losing life or property. The government usually enlightens the public on areas that are prone to landslides. Such directives by the government force people to move from the areas to other areas that are safe and fit for human settlement.
Climatic factors that force people to move away from their homes are mostly the effects of human activities on the ecosystem. Human beings involve themselves in environmental degradation, which causes global warming. It is the responsibility of everyone to take care of the environment to prevent global warming. Climatic factors mostly affect farmers whose livelihood depends on natural and climatic factors. Most of the natural disasters are forces of nature that are beyond the control of human beings. It is possible to predict the occurrence of some natural disasters like the storms and take preventive and safety measures. However, escaping the wrath of a certain national disaster does not prevent the national disaster from occurring again. The best decision will be moving away from such areas to avoid the risks. Most natural disasters lead to mass displacement of people from their homes with some causing death and destruction of property (Wolpert, 2010). Some of the natural disasters have a connection with the climatic factors. For instance, destruction of the ecosystem causes heavy rainfalls, which leads to flooding and eventually landslides. Therefore, environmental factors above force people to move away from their homes.
Afolayan, A. and Adelekan, L. (2009) “The role of climatic variations on migration and
human health in Africa,” The Environmentalist 18(4): 213–218.
Ezra, M. (2001) “Demographic responses to environmental stress in the drought- and famineprone areas of northern Ethiopia,” International Journal of Population Geography 7(4): 259–279.
Wolpert, J. (2010). “Migration as an adjustment to environmental stress,” Journal of Social Issues 22(4): 92–102.
Schipper, L. and Pelling, M. (2006) “Disaster risk, climate change and international development: scope for, and challenges to, integration”, Disasters, 30(1), pp: 19−38 Read More
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