‘Agriculture and water: testimony from two villages in Burkina Faso’, is a film that illustrates some of the findings from PRISE research on climate and migration. In it, people from Ziga – a farming community in the semi-arid Central Plateau of Burkina Faso – speak of how climate change impacts their lives and how a lack of access to water for irrigation is leading many men from the village to migrate to other rural areas in search of work. While this migration has provided income, they highlight that it has also had adverse consequences on the lives of women, families and the community.
The documentary, part of PRISE Research Area 7, illustrates some of the potential benefits that access to water for dry-season irrigation can bring, including income-generation activities like small-scale market gardening ventures led by a women’s group in another village – Lélégsé, which has access to water for irrigation. Village members from Ziga call on policy- and decision-makers responsible for water resources management in Burkina Faso to build more small dams in those rural areas which lack access to water for irrigation. They believe this will give rural communities more choice when making the decision about whether to migrate from semi-arid regions or not. The complex relationships between climate change and human mobility were highlighted in a recent overview of internationally-available evidence by ODI researchers.
Other PRISE research on internal and international migration, remittances and resilience in semi-arid regions of Senegal, Pakistan and Tajikistan underlines the significance of migrant remittances, and the new knowledge and skills migrants have, as key ways to benefit their home communities, with the potential for governments to strengthen the effective investment of resources brought home by migrants to promote climate-resilient economic development in semi-arid regions.