Assessment of the Understanding of Climate Change Among the Ngerengere Maasai Community in Morogoro, Tanzania

Dotto P. Kuhenga


This paper sought to assess the understanding of climate change among the Maasai community in Ngerengere Division, Morogoro Region, in Tanzania. A recent study that involved 70 participants in an embedded case study design revealed that the Maasai pastoralists and farmers understand the weather patterns and can cope well with climatic variability typical of semi-arid areas. This understanding helps individuals and social groups to access and process climate information to the level that raises their capability to adopt relevant mitigation measures. Presented narratives obtained through the triangulation of data indicate that the Maasai people have established coping strategies to help them reduce the impacts of climate change in their contexts. Captured strategies include: shifting from livestock to small-scale farming, cattle raiding, and increasing the number of livestock. The paper uncovers that the target community has developed indicators that help individuals and social groups to access climate change knowledge in their area, and adopt necessary and useful measures. Cited indicators include; prevalence of new types of diseases, change in patterns of human activities, extreme fluctuations of Ngerengere river volume, and shifting of the river flow.

Keywords: climate change, climate change understanding, climate change perception, climate change adaptation, indigenous knowledge

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