A changing climate: Local adaptations in Northern Coastal communities' livelihoods of Unguja Island, Zanzibar

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University of Dar es Salaam
North Unguja is considered to be highly vulnerable to climate change and variability. It is a place where appropriate climate change and variability adaptation measures are urgent. The study examined local adaptation in northern coastal communities livelihoods of Unguja Island, Zanzibar. It was conducted in ten villages: five from Northwest zone (NWZ) and another five village from Northeast zone (NEZ). The villages in the NWZ include Mkokotoni, Pale, Donge Mchangani, Muwanda, and Mto wa Pwani; and those in the NEZ include Kiwengwa, Pwani Mchangani, Matemwe, Kigomani and Kijini-Mnemba Islet. A total of 373 respondents, which is equivalent to 7% of the entire population of North Unguja, was involved in this study. The study used mixed methods (qualitative and quantitative) in gathering data. The core dataconstitute information from interviews, climate parameters (i.e. temperature and rainfall), aerial photographs and satellite images. Data collection techniques include interviews, focus group discussion and field observation. Content analysis, Microsoft Excel, SPSS and GIS were used to analyze the data, whereas, graphs, table, maps and captions were used to present the findings. The findings show that from 1916 to 2016 the study area has experienced positive (warm) and negative (cool) temperature anomalies and a 0.4 to 1⁰C temperature shift during the 20th century indicating significant change and variation in climate. The changes in climate have influenced adaptation processes of local communities based on their livelihood activities. The livelihood activities in the study site are highly dynamic and have undergone profound adaptation change/shift or continued over 100 years. There is a heavy dependency of local communities on natural resources. It is observed that population increase, limited livelihood opportunities, low level of formal education and inadequate environmental awareness increase the dependency on natural resources in the vicinity. Furthermore, the study reveals that changes in climate by increasing temperature and unpredictable rainfall have emerged as challenges to local communities based on their livelihood activity options. The findings further show how climate change adaptations of local communities turn to mal-adaptation such as diversification, expansion and intensification of livelihood activities like an encroachment on forests for cultivation, mining of gypsum and extraction of stones for making bricks. Moreover, there are differences between how local communities’ views on climate change and variability lead to increased risk on the one hand and vulnerability to climate change and variability to communities’ livelihoods due to how such changes are experienced on the other. The study also establishes that land cover and land use have changed over time mainly due to anthropogenic activities. Furthermore, the findings indicate that processes of environmental change and climate events that unfold locally are closely linked to the way different resources are valued. The study concludes that enhancing local capacity to adapt will help to secure sustainable livelihood activities and natural resources in NWZ and NEZ under the dynamic climate and environment. The study recommends that efforts to support local capacity to respond to climate change and variability in NWZ and NEZ must be based on local communities’ views in order to enable such communities to have a greater say in the decisions that affect their livelihood
Available in print form, East Africana Collection, Dr. Wilbert Chagula Library, Class mark (THS EAF QC902.Z3.K427)
Climate changes, Effects of human beings, norther Coastal, Communities, livelihood of Unguja island,, Zanzibar
Khatib, Mary Mtumwa (2019) A changing climate: Local adaptations in Northern Coastal communities' livelihoods of Unguja Island, Zanzibar, Master dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam