Nyangatom people resilience in times of climate variability and change
Alemayehu Hailemicael MEZGEBE (Ethiopia)
Arba Minch University, Ethiopia
Developing countries are the most vulnerable to climate change impacts because of the high degree of dependency on natural resource based livelihood activities. Lack of the institutional and financial capacity to withstand and cope with these impacts has direct severe effect. The objective of the study was to assess the vulnerability and adaptation strategies of pastoral livelihood to impact of climate change and variability. The study was conducted in Nyangatom Woreda which is found in lower Omo valley of South Omo Zone. This area is one of the drought-prone area in the zone. The study used both qualitative and quantitative methods of data collection. The primary data were collected by using data gathering tools such as observation, household survey, key informant interviews and focus group discussion. Secondary data were collected from Meteorological stations of nearby Woredas. The study result shows that climate of the Woreda have changed in terms of temperature and precipitation. All respondents stated that they had observed increase in temperature and decrease in annual and seasonal rainfall amounts along with increased extreme conditions like drought, floods and storms. The observed impact of climate change and variability in pastoral livelihood include impact on natural resource, livestock and the community. The findings of livelihood vulnerability assessment shows that the livelihood of the community highly exposed to natural disasters and climate variability. Similarly, the overall vulnerability mapping of kebels in the Woreda indicate that kebels around Kibish area highly exposed to natural disaster and climate variability as well as low adaptive capacity compared with kebels around Omo river. The pastoral's community have adapted to the perceived climate change and variability through their own autonomous adaptation mechanisms. The coping and adaptation strategies used by pastorals to the perceived or experienced climate change and variability include strategies such as mobility/migration, change in herd composition, selling of livestock, resource sharing and engaging in non-pastorals’ activities like selling of fire wood and charcoal burning. The adaptation options they employed are not enough to reduce the impact of current climate change and variability due to various barriers. The study identified range land degradation, conflict over scarce resource, market problem, lack of health service and bush encroachment as a barriers for adaptation. Therefore, the need to take integrated measure to reduce the vulnerability of pastoral livelihood and to increase the adaptive capacity of the communities has to be worked out.
This is Dr. Alemayehu Hailemicael an Assistant professor of Environmental sciences. My research interest focuses on exploring traditional practices of climate change adaptation and mitigation. Currently, I am working on landscape level Enset biodiversity conservation. Exploration of indigenous knowledge on clones of enset is underway. I have contributed an article on indigenous talents of Konso people to cope with climate change impacts. I have also a chapter on a book "Harnessing land and water resources for improved food security and ecosystem services in Africa” I am working in Arba Minch University running graduate programs and guiding graduate students.