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University of Cape Town (2018)

The use of traditional weather forecasting by agro-pastoralists of different social groups in Bobirwa sub-district, Botswana

Mosime, Bonolo

Titre : The use of traditional weather forecasting by agro-pastoralists of different social groups in Bobirwa sub-district, Botswana

Auteur : Mosime, Bonolo

Université de soutenance : University of Cape Town.

Grade : MPhil in Climate Change and Sustainable Development 2018

Résumé partiel
Agro-pastoralists of Bobirwa sub-district depend mainly on rain-fed agriculture as a source of their livelihood. However, this agro-pastoralism is affected by climatic variability. Advanced warning of upcoming weather information is, therefore, important in informing farming decisions. Traditional weather forecasting is often a major planning tool used to inform agro-pastoralists’ decision making and has been handed from one generation to another. For instance, local knowledge indicators are used to determine onset of rainfall and quality of the rainfall expected. However, there are numerous factors that may have affected the effective use of and dependence on traditional weather forecasting over the years. For this reason, it is critical to examine the current state and use of traditional weather forecasting among the agro-pastoralists. This thesis describes the traditional weather forecasting that agro-pastoralists in Bobirwa sub-district Botswana hold and use in planning for agricultural activities to cope with climate variability. It also examines changes that have been observed in the use of traditional weather forecasting over time. By exploring the knowledge used to generate early warning systems and coping strategies to climate variability of agro-pastoralists, we examine underlying vulnerabilities and resilience possibilities. Data was collected through purposively selecting a total of 101 agro-pastoralists who were further stratified by age and gender. The following qualitative techniques were used in data collection : semi-structured interviews (54 interviewees constituting 37 forecasters and 17 non-forecasters), focus group discussions (47 participants consisting of between 4 and 12 participants), and key informant interviews (11 forecasters who use multiple indicators). The snowballing technique was the main sampling strategy. Knowledgeable traditional forecasters in FGD’s were used to identify key informants with whom semi-structured interviews were conducted. All data was analysed using the thematic analysis method.

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