The Migration Effects of the Economic Structural Adjustment Programme on a Rural Community in Zimbabwe|
This paper examines factors influencing long-distance migration during a period of economic reforms, from Nyamaropa Communal Area in Nyanga district of Manicaland Province in eastern Zimbabwe, to various intra-country destinations. The economic reforms were implemented in phases and the study is particularly concerned about the effects of the first phase, dubbed the Economic Structural Adjustment Programme (ESAP, 1991-5). Primary data was collected using a household questionnaire between 1998-2000 and captured both pre- and post- ESAP periods. However, the limitation of such data is separating what could have happened without the reforms. This limitation is relevant in the case of Zimbabwe because there was a severe countrywide drought between 1992-3, just after the ESAP started in 1991. Data analysis involved both bivariate and multivariate procedures and results indicated that: higher levels of education, singleness, and having off-farm income were all less associated with long distance migration. This is contrary to findings of distance decay studies, which suggest greater frictional role of distance on the less educated and married individuals, particularly in the case of labour migration. The study, however, did not only focus on labour migration, but all mobility patterns. Two types of migrants emerged: women moving long-distance to join husbands in Harare accompanied by children, and short-distance migrants related to casual work. The latter could not have been the effect of drought but ESAP's economic hardships.