Tanzania Journal of Forestry and Nature Conservation

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Adaptive capacity to climate change of pastoralists in Kilosa District, Tanzania

N Kitasho, J.M. Abdallah, R Zakayo


A study was conducted to investigate the adaptive capacity of pastoralists in Kilosa district to climate change. Specifically, the study assessed the trend and impact of climate change in the area, adaptive elements of pastoral communities against climate change and determined the contribution of state agencies in enhancing pastoral system’s resilience to climate variability in the district. Data were collected using household questionnaire survey, focus group discussions, key informant interviews and field observation. The data was analysed using Excel and SPSS computer software programs. Results revealed that in the period 1972-1974, there was a significant shift of rainfall in the study area from bi-modal to unimodal. This trend has been consistent with climate change scenarios in recent decades of lower rainfall and more severe droughts. Most pastoralists were aware of climate change impacts namely water scarcity, increase of livestock diseases and increased distance to grazing lands. The capacity of pastoralists to adapt to climate change stress depends largely on the number of livestock. Pastoralists owning more livestock are more likely to adapt to climate change. This study recommends that the community should diversify to other sustainable economic activities rather than relying on livestock only while climatic conditions are not favourable for this economic activity. The Government should put more effort on supporting pastoralists in their adaptive strategies as well as make regular review of policies to favour adaptation measures.

Keywords: Pastoralists, climate change, adaptive capacity, Kilosa

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