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United States International University - Africa (2020)

The Impact of Climate Change Induced Resource Scarcity on Human Security : An Analysis of Experiences by Families in Lokichoggio, Turkana County, Kenya

Heiret, Tiril

Titre : The Impact of Climate Change Induced Resource Scarcity on Human Security : An Analysis of Experiences by Families in Lokichoggio, Turkana County, Kenya

Auteur : Heiret, Tiril

Université de soutenance : United States International University - Africa

Grade : Master of Arts in International Relations (MIR) 2020

Résumé
This research aimed to analyze the impact of climate change-induced resource scarcity on the human security as experienced by families in Lokichoggio, Turkana Country, Kenya. Africa being a continent with tropical and subtropical climate, is assumed to be most affected by changes in climate. Turkana is the largest county in Kenya, but rates among the poorest. Most of the land in the county is arid and semi-arid with average temperatures between 24-38 °C. Majority of the people living in the county are pastoralists, making them particularly vulnerable to climate change, especially prolonged droughts. Already, climate change has led to changes in the rainy seasons in the county. Traditionally, conflicts between ethnic groups in Turkana have occurred due to a culture of cattle raiding. However, in recent years, scarcity of resources, particularly water and grazing land for pasture, are associated with increasing conflict. Lokichoggio is a town north in Turkana, not far from the borders of South Sudan, and Uganda. Several studies have been conducted to assess the impact of climate change on people in Turkana in general ; however, there are no such studies on Lokichoggio town in particular. This research applied triangulation as a research method, using both qualitative and quantitative methods of data collection and analysis. The sampling size was 196 people, and data was collected through interviews, focus group discussions, and questionnaires. The findings of the study were that, according to the participants, from around 1980s, there have been abnormal changes in climate such as prolonged droughts in particular, but also severe floods. This had led to a scarcity of food, water, and pasture. On average, the participants ate between 1-2 meals per day, depending on the season. Also, they did not have sufficient access to water for household courses like washing clothes or doing dishes. Regarding how changes in climate are impacting conflict, it is evident from the findings of the research that there is a link between prolonged droughts, resource scarcity, and conflict. Resource scarcity resulting from droughts, in particular, is one of the reasons for both internal conflicts within the family and the community, but also external cross- border conflicts with other communities. Adaption to changes in climate and resource scarcity is difficult for most people in Lokichoggio as they have limited resources to plan. Significant recommendations are to construct more boreholes, reduce the cost of water, and increase opportunities for alternative livelihoods for the Turkana people in Lokichoggio. This study will be of importance for policymakers within Lokichoggio town, Turkana county, as well as other arid or semi-arid areas within Kenya, Africa, or other places in the world. The study might also be of relevance for non-governmental organizations working in Turkana or Lokichoggio.

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