So a few weeks ago I told you that I was embarking on a research journey until the end of the program. Wednesday we will arrive at our big destination – community presentations. After a month of data collection, analysis and documentation we will be presenting our results and conclusions to the community as well as representatives from the government and park management spheres. Since all of you can’t be there I thought I would summarize my paper for you… the whole 29 pages might be a bit much.
Climate change impacts and local adaptation strategies within the Iraqw community in Buger Village, Karatu District, Tanzania
The International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) predicts that average annual and daily temperatures in Tanzania will rise 2-4°C by 2075 as a direct result of anthropogenic climatic changes. Predicted resulting decreases in rainfall have the potential to undermine current and future efforts to eradicate poverty in Tanzania. Over 90% of the population is dependent on agriculture or agricultural activities. The variability and unpredictability of precipitation strongly affects agricultural production through poor water availability and soil erosion, as well as increases of pests and diseases. In rural regions of Tanzania modern adaptation methods to these challenges can be expensive, confusing, and difficult to access. As a result, these communities rely on traditional practices for adaptation that should be documented and analyzed for potential standardization and replication. This study documents the current impacts of climate change on the village of Buger in Karatu District, Tanzania and the existing local adaptation methods.
The primary methods used in the research were focus group discussions and structured interviews. The focus groups ranked the impacts of climate change by severity and several agricultural practices by effectiveness in increasing production. A semi-structured questionnaire was completed through interviews at 106 households in the village.
Through this study it became clear that predicted climatic changes are already being felt in Buger, primarily increased drought frequency and duration. The villagers reported decreases in the rainy season by five to six months. A high reliance on natural resources leaves villagers vulnerable to these changes through effects such as decreased agricultural production, pasture availability and water availability as well as increases in malaria.
Climate adaptation methods were documented, most directly related to agriculture. In general, the respondents preferred traditional methods (such as manure as fertilizer, terracing, tree planting, crop rotation, and intercropping) to modern methods (such as the use of short season seeds and the use of inorganic fertilizers and/or pesticides), suggesting that traditional methods are more accessible, affordable and effective and should be preserved and advocated within the region.
This information is from a paper produced as a part of an academic directed research semester at the School For Field Studies Center for Wildlife Management Studies (SFS) under the TAWIRI – permit 2012-241-NA-2012-57 and supervision of Professor John Mwamhanga. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org with questions or concerns.