DOI: 10.3390/socsci13020089 ISSN: 2076-0760

A Qualitative Exploration of the Influence of Climate Change on Migration of Women in the Riverine Area of Bayelsa State, Nigeria

Turnwait Otu Michael
  • General Social Sciences

The riverine region of Bayelsa State, Nigeria, faces a critical issue as the impacts of climate change, including rising sea levels, extreme weather events, and disruptions to traditional livelihoods, disproportionately affect women. This qualitative study aimed to fill a gap in understanding by exploring the nuanced ways in which these environmental challenges influence the migration decisions of women who have fled floods, remain displaced, and have opted not to return to prevent potential negative experiences linked to future flooding in the region. The research delves into the interplay between climate change, gender dynamics, and community resilience. Employing an exploratory research design with purposive and snowball sampling techniques, the study selected 51 female participants. Through 24 in-depth interviews and three focus group discussions, the research captured the nuanced experiences of women grappling with the challenges posed by climate change. Thematic analysis was applied to analyze the collected data. The study unveiled that climate change significantly shapes the migration decisions of women in the riverine area of Bayelsa State. This influence manifests through disrupted livelihoods, flooding, water scarcity, diseases and health challenges, housing insecurity, increased environmental vulnerabilities, and uncertain future prospects. These findings underscore the pressing need for gender-responsive policies and community-based strategies to address the complex interplay between climate change impacts and women’s migration experiences.

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