Migration: community consequences and individual migrant experiences in Agbogbloshie

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JUNE, 2015
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Development disparities between the three northern regions of Ghana and their southern counterparts remain an issue of grave concern since independence. The colonial administration promoted the northern sector as a labour basket for the rich southern cocoa and timber industry and mineral resources. Undoubtedly, this situation resulted in seasonal and sometimes permanent migration of young people from the three northern regions to the southern sector. Though the north-south migration in the country has received much scholarly attention with respect to the causes and patterns of these movements, it is yet to be critically examined in terms of its effects on the socio-economic well-being of migrants and their dependants. Thus, the thesis investigates how migration affects migrants’ well-being. The main objective of the study is to determine the effects of migration on the well-being of migrants and their dependants in Agbogbloshie. The specific objectives are to examine the effects of migration on the income, education, housing and employment conditions of migrants; to determine the effects of migrants’ absence on their households in their areas of origin, to gain insight into the migration decision making process of these young migrants and to explore the experiences of migrants in terms of the challenges and successes from migrants perspective. A mixed research design involving both quantitative and qualitative methods of analysis was used in finding answers to the research questions. The study found that the determinants of well-being; income, education, employment, health, and housing have improved for migrants after migration. The survey results revealed that migrants lived in congested and unhygienic environments, whilst the work they engaged in posed a lot of risks such as carrying very heavy loads and maneuvering between vehicles. On the consequences of migration on source communities, the study found that migration had a mixed effect on Yendi Municipality. Remittances were cited as the main positive effect on migrants’ households since it served as a source of additional income that cushioned relatives in the lean season (June-July). Some of the negative effects included the return of migrants with diseases and loss of moral values on the part of the returned migrants. The study recommends that the development gap between the northern and the southern part of the country be bridged so as to limit migration.
A thesis submitted to The Department of Planning, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Philosophy in Development Studies,