Climate Change Impacts, Adaptation and Coping Strategies at Malindza, a Rural Semi-Arid Area in Swaziland
American Journal of Agriculture and Forestry
Volume 3, Issue 3, May 2015, Pages: 86-92
Received: Mar. 20, 2015; Accepted: Apr. 1, 2015; Published: May 7, 2015
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Authors
Siboniso M. Mavuso, University of Swaziland, Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering, Manzini, Swaziland
Absalom M. Manyatsi, University of Swaziland, Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering, Manzini, Swaziland
Bruce R. T. Vilane, University of Swaziland, Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering, Manzini, Swaziland
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Abstract
The objective of the study was to assess the impacts of climate change faced by rural households in the lowveld of Swaziland, using Malindza as a case study area, and further identify adaptation and coping strategies employed by households. A questionnaire was developed and used to conduct interviews from 160 households randomly selected in four rural communities of the study area. Data were analysed with SPSS software, and reported in forms of tables and figures. More or less all the respondents (99%) were aware of climate change and climate change variability, Sources of information included radios (92.5%), television (5.6%) and agricultural extension officers (2%). The information was however considered inadequate and of short term remedy as it was in the form of daily weather forecast. The perceived effects of climate change included crop failure (99%), loss of livestock (99%) and drying of surface water (99%). Only 9% of the households harvested enough maize to last for a year, and the rest (91%) had to rely on buying maize, exchanging it for labour or receiving food aid. The climate change adaptation strategies practiced included contour ploughing (49%), use of organic fertilisers (29%) and crop rotation (20%). Thirty two percent of the households planted hybrid maize seeds and 15% planted open pollinated maize seeds. Another 26% planted both hybrid maize and open pollinated maize seeds. On the other hand, coping strategies practiced included selling or consuming small livestock and chicken (97%), consuming maize left for seeds (93%) and reducing food intake (23%). It was clear that the effects of climate change in rural areas were severe and needed to be addressed before critical damages like loss of human life manifest. The government should ensure that farmer’s knowledge on climate change and variability is increased through education to improve their adaptive capacity.
Keywords
Adaptation, Climate Change, Climate Variability, Coping, Adaptive Capacity
To cite this article
Siboniso M. Mavuso, Absalom M. Manyatsi, Bruce R. T. Vilane, Climate Change Impacts, Adaptation and Coping Strategies at Malindza, a Rural Semi-Arid Area in Swaziland, American Journal of Agriculture and Forestry. Vol. 3, No. 3, 2015, pp. 86-92. doi: 10.11648/j.ajaf.20150303.14
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