Community adaptation to climate change effects on fisheries: case of villages adjacent to Mtera dam in Iringa district, Tanzania

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University of Dar es Salaam
The adverse effects of climate change on fisheries have implications on the livelihood sustainability of communities that depend on the resources. This study assesses the local communities’ adaptation strategies to the effects of Climate Change on fisheries in selected villages adjacent to Mtera Dam in Iringa District, Tanzania. The study employed both qualitative and quantitative approaches to collect data from 86 fishermen and 72 fish vendors in selected villages adjacent to the Mtera Dam in Iringa District, Tanzania. The study therefore employed a diverse of methods which are face to face interview using questionnaire survey to fish vendors and fishermen,, in-depth interview to key informants including the Iringa District Fisheries Officer, Migoli Ward Executive Officer, and Migoli Ward Fisheries Officer. Other methods were field observation, and Focused Group Discussion. Meteorological data were collected from TMA – Iringa District, and RBWO rainfall station at Mtera. The Findings show that the climate is changing, with trends of increasing temperature from 1960 – 2014, and decreasing rainfall from 1971 to 2014 which correlated to respondents’ perception. The rising temperature and declining rainfall have been affecting fisheries dependent livelihoods through the declining water level in the Mtera dam, reduction of fishery productivity, destruction of habitats and loss of aquatic species. These effects have made fisheries to be the most vulnerable livelihood activity because of poor education of the community, incapability to buy gears with high technology, low access to climate change information, and lack of support from the government and financial institutions. Various strategies like diversifying into other livelihoods, change fishing locations, change fishing gears, raising the price of fish, and increasing fishing duration have been adopted by the fishery dependent community to stabilize their suppressed livelihoods. However, most of these adaptation strategies were ineffective in improving the livelihoods of the fisheries dependent communities. Factors like illegal fishing, poor cooperation, deforestation of natural trees, prolonged drought, and the use of poor technological gears have been the reason for the failure of the employed strategies. Conclusively, the climate is changing. Respondents’ perception on climate change is congruent to meteorological change. Also the fisheries dependent livelihoods in Migoli ward are highly vulnerable to climate change. The local community’s adaptation strategies are less effective against the climate change effects. Therefore, it is recommended that awareness of the local communities on climate change should be raised, support to local adaptation strategies to climate change should be enhanced, providing capital, ensuring good cooperation and effective management of Mtera dam to retain its resources and protect the ecosystem.
Available in print form, East Africana Collection, Dr. Wilbert Chagula Library, Class mark (THS EAF QC903.2.T34M852)
Climatic change, Fisheries, Climatic factors, Environmental aspects, Mtera dam, Iringa District, Tanzania
Mwalupa, F. (2017) Community adaptation to climate change effects on fisheries: case of villages adjacent to Mtera dam in Iringa district, Tanzania. Master dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam. Dar es Salaam.