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Internal Migration and Urbanization: A case study from Semi-arid regions of Pakistan
The study analyses the determinants of urbanization in semi-arid regions and the role of institutions in dealing with the issue. Focusing mainly on three semiarid districts of Pakistan, i.e., Mardan, Faisalabad, and Dera Ghazi Khan (D.G Khan), the study draws on qualitative information gathered through the indepth interviews of rural to urban migrants and key stakeholders. The push factors described by majority of urban respondents in all three districts are mainly economic, i.e., lack of employment and business opportunities in rural areas. Few respondents considered death of family members/relatives, conflict with other tribes and lack of health facilities as significant push factors behind their decision of migration. Although socio- economic factors were the primary cause of migration, climate change was not considered a direct reason. Nevertheless, a few respondents agreed that climate change had indirect effect on their decision to migrate. The pull factors are almost common in all three districts. These include better employment opportunities, proximity to their village and access to basic facilities such as educational institutions, hospitals, road and transport networks, sanitation amenities, etc. in the cities. The urban migrants faced a number of issues as a result of their migration, viz lack of proper accommodation, inaccessibility to pure drinking water, guarantor issues, finding employment or setting up business, and lack of information about public services. This has further exacerbated the situation vis-à-vis congestion of the cities as well as an increase in slum settlements. According to development authorities, major reasons for unplanned urbanization and slums creation were lack of internal migration monitoring policy and coordination gaps between service providers and authorities concerned. Furthermore, stakeholders emphasized the need for immediate attention for overall agriculture sector development, including climate resilient and agriculture smart policies to lower the push factors of migration in rural areas.
Internal Migration, Urbanization, Climate Change, Slums, Planned and Unplanned Urbanization, Development
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