Original Research

Vulnerability of Southern Afar pastoralists to climate variability and change, Ethiopia

Muluken Fenta, Andries Jordaan, Yoseph Melka
Jàmbá: Journal of Disaster Risk Studies | Vol 11, No 1 | a575 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/jamba.v11i1.575 | © 2019 Muluken Fenta, Andries Jordaan, Yoseph Melka | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 20 November 2017 | Published: 18 April 2019

About the author(s)

Muluken Fenta, Disaster Management Training and Education Centre for Africa, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa
Andries Jordaan, Disaster Management Training and Education Centre for Africa, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa
Yoseph Melka, Wondo Genet College of Forestry and Natural Resources, Hawassa University, Shashemene, Ethiopia

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The present study was carried out in the Southern Afar region in Ethiopia to assess the vulnerability of pastoral communities to climate change and variability. A household questionnaire survey was employed to collect data at a household level. A total of 250 pastoral households were sampled using stratified random sampling. The results revealed that 28.8% of the pastoral households were highly vulnerable. Most of the households (53.6%) were moderately vulnerable. Only 17.6% of the households were capable of coping even though there would be a high probability of moving from less vulnerable to a moderate or high vulnerability level in the future if no appropriate adaptive measures would be taken by decision-makers. Policies with emphasis on empowerment of women, such as improving their access to and control over resources through a better institutional set-up; improving irrigation facilities and skills; expanding the participation of pastoral households on irrigation farming; creating opportunities for non-farm income; and improving access to credits, markets, health and veterinary services, are expected to enhance pastoralists’ resilience.


climate; irrigation; livestock; pastoralists; vulnerability


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