Socio-economic impact of labour migration on households: a case study of Malolwane Village, Kgatleng District (Botswana)

Bobby B.M. Paledi, University of Botswana

Abstract Since the early 1970’s Botswana has experienced consistent rural-urban migration. This scenario coincided with the discovery of diamonds. In recent years the government has viewed the rate of rural-urban migration and urban growth as alarming, stating that it wanted to avoid dividing its people into privileged town dwellers and toiling farmers. Despite the introduction of the rural development policies aimed at improving the economies of the rural poor, research shows that, rural-urban migration has intensified over the years and these policies had not succeeded in halting rural-urban migration. This study investigates the socio-economic impact of labour migration on the rural households in Malolwane. Specifically the study (1) determines the extent of migrant labour practices on households in Malolwane village, and (2) determines the contributing factors that necessitate migratory labour practice. Non probability sampling is employed using snowballing technique to identify the target population. Data used is from both Primary and Secondary sources. The results indicate that despite its economic gain, labour migration has far reaching social implications for the children and the wives of the migrant workers. These include fragmented social functioning of the households, added responsibilities strain on the migrant wives, undesirable effect on health of both the migrant and their families and its incidence result in the spread of diseases especially HIV Aids and the resultant marriage break down. Based on these results, there is an urgent need for the revision of rural development strategies by Government. The process should include key development partners-stakeholders to come up with strategies that will increase incomes for the rural resource poor dwellers through employment creation opportunities to enhance their livelihood coping strategies on sustainable basis.

Presented in Poster Session 2