Original Research

Perceptions on climate change and its impact on livelihoods in Hwange district, Zimbabwe

Charles Nhemachena, Reneth Mano, Shakespear Mudombi, Virginia Muwanigwa
Jàmbá: Journal of Disaster Risk Studies | Vol 6, No 1 | a123 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/jamba.v6i1.123 | © 2014 Charles Nhemachena, Reneth Mano, Shakespear Mudombi, Virginia Muwanigwa | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 14 February 2014 | Published: 02 December 2014

About the author(s)

Charles Nhemachena, Human Sciences Research Council, Pretoria, South Africa
Reneth Mano, Humanitarian Information Facilitation Centre, Harare, Zimbabwe
Shakespear Mudombi, Institute for Economic Research on Innovation, Tshwane University of Technology, South Africa
Virginia Muwanigwa, Humanitarian Information Facilitation Centre, Harare, Zimbabwe


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Abstract

This study investigated perceptions of rural communities on climate change and its impacts on livelihoods. The research was conducted in the semi-arid Hwange district in Matebelel and North province of Zimbabwe. The perceptions were compared with empirical evidence from climatic studies on trends on temperature and rainfall, and impacts on livelihoods in the country and region. The findings from the current study are generally in agreement with those of other studies that indicate changes in the climate, especially in terms of rainfall. This largely applies to short-term periods; however, for long-term periods it is difficult to accurately relate rural community perceptions to changes in rainfall over time. Despite perceived changes and impacts of climate change on local livelihood activities, mainly agriculture, there are multiple stressors that the communities face which also affect their livelihoods. Further evidence-based research is required to disentangle climate change impacts on livelihoods, including livelihood impacts arising from interactions of climate and non-climatic factors.

Keywords

climate change adaptation; perceptions; agriculture; tourism; Hwange District; Zimbabwe

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