The Role of Community Based Adaptation in Response to Extreme Rainfall Events in Coastal Communities of Tanzania.

Enock Harold Tumbo, Noah Makula Paulin


Th is paper established the role of Community Based Adaptation (CBA) practices in responding to extreme
rainfall events in coastal communities of Tanzania, using data collected over two months. Primary data
were collected using focus group discussions, key informant interviews, participant observations, historical
timeline and household questionnaire survey. A total of 62 households from Chumbi C and Kikale
villages in Rufi ji district were interviewed. Secondary data were sourced from government agencies and
unpublished literatures. Th e Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI) was used to analyse rainfall extremes
(i.e. wettest and driest years) over the past thirty-four years in the study area. Quantitative data were
analysed using Statistical Packages for Social Sciences (SPSS) and Microsoft Excel. Th e timeline of dry and
wettest years, since 1980 to 2015, was constructed and corroborated with farmers’ perceptions, anomalies
and seasons changes. Th ere is marginal decadal rainfall variability and seasonality change in October,
November and December (OND); January and February (JF); and March, April, and May (MAM). Th e
changes have serious bearings on crops growing seasons over time. Smallholder farmers in Rufi ji District
are vulnerable to climatic extremes, since most of their livelihoods strongly depend on rain-fed agriculture.
We found that smallholder farmers respond to extreme weather events (e.g. fl oods and droughts) using
a range of CBA options, including cultivating in wetlands and livelihoods diversifi cation. Smallholder
farmers are heavily reliant on incremental CBA practices when responding to extreme weather events;
hence they need economic and policy support to enable them engage in transformative changes which are
more eff ective and sustainable.


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