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Analysis and mapping of climate change risk and vulnerability in Central Rift Valley of Ethiopia

L Gizachew
A Shimelis


There is growing demand for spatially explicit information among stakeholders across public and private institutions regarding vulnerability to climate change at the local scale. This study was conducted over 16 districts in Central Rift Valley (CRV) of Ethiopia, to determine the degree of climate risk and the relative vulnerability of the districts, to climate change and, thereby identify vulnerable hotspots. A biophysical and socio-economic indicator based integrated vulnerability assessment technique was used to map climate change vulnerability. Indicators were generated and analysed under three components of vulnerability, namely exposure, sensitivity and adaptive capacity; and finally aggregated into a single vulnerability index. The values of all indicators were normalised by considering their functional relationship with vulnerability, and expert judgment was then used to assign weights to all indicators. Aggregate vulnerability index (VI) was finally determined from the weighted sum of all indicators and mapped over the 16 districts. Selti, Dodotana-Sire and Tiyo districts had relatively high vulnerability to climate change; while Arsinegele, Adamitulu- Jido-Kombolcha and Dugda-Bora were the least vulnerable. The rest of the districts had medium vulnerability to changing climate. This study shows that vulnerability mapping is crucial in determining the varying degrees of vulnerability of different localities, and generating information that can help researchers, policy makers, private and public institutions in formulating site-specific adaptation strategies and prioritising adaptation investments to the most vulnerable hotspots.

Key Words: Socio-economic indicators, vulnerability index