Local-based initiatives to adapt to climate variability and change in Tanzania

Ronald B Ndesanjo, Theobald F Theodory


This paper presents results from a study on impacts of climate variability and change on social and ecological systems in Arumeru district, Arusha, Tanzania. Broadly, the paper sought to assess local communities’ perception of climate variability and change; and to identify ways through which local people’s perception(s) are informed by climate change vulnerability and adaptation. Drawing on results generated from Key Informant Interviews (KII), observed climate variability and change is noted to have serious negative-and potential positive-impacts on social and ecological systems, especially in areas where adaptive capacities are still low. The findings unveiled that basic livelihoods, especially livestock keeping and farming are already affected negatively by climate variability and change impacts exhibited by, among other things, dwindling pasture and crop productivity as well as water scarcity. Subsequently, the study notes increasing scarcity of basic household necessities, especially food - including pasture - and water for both people and livestock, which were directly associated with frequent dry spells and altered rainfall patterns as observed by the local people in the study area.

Key words: climate variability and change, farming, pastoralism, resilience, social and ecological systems

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