Original Research

Effects of climate change on pastoral households in the Harshin District of the Somali Region, Ethiopia

Tigist Abrham, Muluken Mekuyie
Jàmbá: Journal of Disaster Risk Studies | Vol 14, No 1 | a1202 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/jamba.v14i1.1202 | © 2022 Tigist Abrham, Muluken Mekuyie | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 10 August 2021 | Published: 27 July 2022

About the author(s)

Tigist Abrham, Department of Natural Resource Management, College of Dryland Agriculture, Jijiga University, Jijiga, Ethiopia
Muluken Mekuyie, Wondo Genet College of Forestry and Natural Resources, Hawassa University, Hawassa, Ethiopia


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Abstract

This study was conducted in the Harshin District of the Somali Region, Ethiopia, to understand the climate change trends, their consistency with pastoralists’ perceptions and their effects on pastoral households. The study used both qualitative and quantitative data collected from 143 households through household surveys. Focus group discussions and key informant interviews were also employed to triangulate and substantiate the reports from household surveys. Data were analysed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) and chi-square tests to test a degree of significance between the pastoral and agropastoral households for the impact of climate change. Mann–Kendall’s trend test and Sen’s slope estimator were employed to determine climate change trends of the study area. The result showed that pastoral households perceived an increasing trend in annual temperature and a decreasing trend in annual and seasonal rainfall. Mann–Kendall’s trend analysis confirmed pastoral communities’ perceptions of higher temperatures and rainfall variability, with the exception of a long-term decline in rainfall. The findings further indicated that six droughts (one severe and five moderate) were observed for the period 1983–2017. The result indicated that the significant increase in temperature along with high interannual and seasonal rainfall variability have been causing adverse impacts on crop and livestock production. Therefore, there is a need to provide drought-tolerant and early-maturing crops and improved livestock breeds for pastoral households. Water-related interventions such as small-scale irrigation farming and water harvesting during good rainy seasons is also paramount to enhance climate resilience of the local people.

Keywords

pastoralist; agropastoralists; climate variability; adaptation strategies; households

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