Alessandro Grassani
  • “Environmental Migrants: The Last Illusion” by photographer, Alessandro Grassani, documents the life of people in Kenya, Mongolia and Bangladesh who migrate to escape environmental stresses to the city of their own countries in hopes for a better life. Looking for new ways of livelihood, these "Environmental Migrants" leave for urban areas which are often overcrowded and extremely poor. In this photo, a drained well in the Turkana County of Kenya which once was the only spring of drinking water for the territory. This territory is almost totally deserted due a severe draught.
    Alessandro Grassani
  • According to Grassani, droughts and wars between different pastoral groups seeking pasture and water for their animals are pushing many Kenyans dreaming of a better future towards Nairobi. The picture shows Edipo, 23, from the Turkana tribe in Kenya. Edipo was badly injured in an attack by a neighboring tribal group.
    Alessandro Grassani
  • "The Last Illusion" in the title refers to, according to Grassani, the illusion of a favorable future for these migrants, who once in the city continue to suffer due to lack of resources, education and opportunities. Pictured in this photo, Rose, 34, works outside her mud hut in Nairobi, Kenya. Rose is from the Amagoru village in the Turkana province, an area that has suffered from an immense drought. She decided to immigrate to Nairobi with her husband and their six children after all her animals died of hunger and thirst.
    Alessandro Grassani
  • The cramped streets of the slum of Kibera where many environmental migrants fleeing from the countryside go to live in Narobi, Kenya.
    Alessandro Grassani
  • Grassani visited the communities living in the districts of Dacope, Satkhira and Begherhat, Bangladesh where residents face floods and destruction from cyclones. The Dacope district in Bangladesh, seen here, was hit by a cyclone in May, 2009 causing the whole area, which was once farmland, to be completely dried up due to the infiltration of sea water.
    Alessandro Grassani
  • Fazila Khatum hangs laundry out to dry as water from a nearby river floods the streets of the Satkhira district of Bangladesh. For the past nine years, the river has caused severe flooding forcing nearby residents to live in fear never knowing how quickly or how much water will come. Fazila and her husband used to cultivate rice which has become impossible due to the flooding; they now sell poultry to the markets.
    Alessandro Grassani
  • The view of Kawran Bazar slums where thousands of people live alongside the railway lines in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Over the years, Dhaka has seen an influx of newcomers entering the city, some of which are migrants leaving the countryside due to severe flooding and destruction caused by cyclones.
    Alessandro Grassani
  • An abandoned home, known as a Ger, is submerged by snow in the Ulziit village, Mongolia. In an interview with Verve Photo, Alessandro explains, "The herdsmen from the countryside are forced to abandon the rural and isolated areas where they used to live. They arrive in the city after a lifetime spent in the pastures and are untrained to take on any kind of work and end up living a life of hardship in the slum of the city which, in the past twenty years has rapidly grown without any urban planning, running water or electricity.
    Alessandro Grassani
  • Erdene Tuya and her 3-year-old son Tuvchinj struggle through harsh winters alongside their herd of sheep in Mongolia's Arkhangai province. Severe winter conditions, known as Dzud, have been responsible for the deaths of half the family's once 2,000-strong herd over the past three winters. In 2010, during one of the harsher Dzuds, more than 8 million sheep, cows, horses and camels died in Mongolia, giving some herdsmen no choice but to migrate towards the city of Ulan Bator.
    Alessandro Grassani
  • Erdene Tuya, 29, hauls a sheep that passed away due to the severe winter conditions to a small burial ground. In Mongolia's Arkhangai province, families struggle through harsh winters alongside their herd of sheep. According to the International Organization for Migration, "Future forecasts vary from 25 million to 1 billion environmental migrants by 2050, moving either within their countries or across borders, on a permanent or temporary basis, with 200 million being the most widely cited estimate. This figure equals the current estimate of international migrants worldwide."
    Alessandro Grassani
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