Perceived effects of climate change, implications on the community livelihoods and strategies adapted: Rufiji District, Tanzania.
This study assesses the perceived effects of climate change and variability, their implication on community livelihoods and determines the adapted strategies to the livelihoods of local community in Utunge and Bungu A villages of Rufiji District. The aim was to establish the patterns and trends of climate change and variability and responses to climate change effects. This include assessing climate change and variability impacts, perception, vulnerability and adaptation measures of the communities and establishment of sustainable adaptive strategies and enhance sustainable environmental resources management. Both qualitative and quantitative methods were used to collect information in this study. The quantitative method include household survey whereby a closed and open-ended questionnaire was administered to sampled households, with face-to-face interview being the main approach within study villages. Accordingly, the qualitative method involved key informant interviews, Focus Group Discussions (FGD) coupled with field observations. The qualitative methods established the knowledge and experience with the implication of climate change on livelihood and response strategies while the quantitative method established percentages and statistical information. Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) and Microsoft Excel software were used to analyse the quantitative data and content analysis was used to analyse qualitative. The results displayed in the form of tables, bar charts, figures, maps and plates. The result indicates the severe impact of seasonal shifts and precipitation pattern changes on the rural communities and urban poor people. Such vulnerability was associated by their high dependence on natural resources, and limited capacity to cope with climate extremes and variability. Agricultural productions also were indicated to have been decreasing due to the increase of uncertainty on rainfall and temperature. These factors have increased farmers hardship and vulnerability which cooped with the rise of food prices due to less harvests and production cost. In order to increase production and reduce communities vulnerability therefore effective adaptation strategies should build upon, and sustain, existing livelihoods and thus take into account existing knowledge and coping strategies of the poor.