Page 15 - Respond 2018 Magazine
P. 15


          There is no ready source of financial support directed at       There is no ready
          climate migrants, nor do they have any protected status
          under international law if they cross borders.
                                                                       source of financial
          In most cases, climate migrants are not easy to distinguish
          from economic migrants: they arrive looking for work. The
          welcome they receive hinges more on the value of their     support directed at
          labour than any duty of care to the climate-afflicted.

          In Khulna, the third largest city in Bangladesh and regional    climate migrants
          capital of the southwest, technical education was as
          important as buildings in accommodating the people who
          arrived after Cyclone Aila and myriad smaller crises.

          A pilot offering vocational training – phone repair, welding,   “Khulna is one of the most vulnerable cities in Asia,” says
          sewing – to new arrivals recently marked its first 25 graduates.   Moni. “This is because of climate change. Fifty years ago, the
          Eight of the city’s 278 slums are in line for infrastructure   situation was not like this but now it is changed.”
          upgrades, funded by German development banks.
                                                               As though to demonstrate, during the half-hour audience
                                    “It is not enough,” admits city   rain lashes down and a large puddle forms outside the door.
                                    mayor Moniruzzaman Moni,   Bricks are laid out to step across to dry road.
                                    (pictured) holding court at his
                                    “club” one evening.        Moni hopes that his grandchild will be able to stay in Khulna,
                                                               where his family has lived for generations. But it will require
                                    At between 2 and 4 metres   “major projects” to keep the rising sea at bay. Meanwhile, he
                                    above sea level, enmeshed in   cannot deny the trend for outward migration.
                                    the Ganges-Brahmaputra river
                                    delta, Khulna is only marginally   “A large number of people, they are moving to Malaysia,
                                    safer than the coastal villages.   India, Pakistan and the Middle East. These are climate-
                                    When heavy rainfall coincides   affected people. Officially, we have the number, but
                                    with the high tide, water   unofficially more and more people are going.”
                                    washes through the streets.

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