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United States International University - Africa (2020)

Climate Change Adaptation Mechanisms by Rural Women in the Okavango Delta in Botswana (2000-2020)

Tshabalala, Nokuthula

Titre : Climate Change Adaptation Mechanisms by Rural Women in the Okavango Delta in Botswana (2000-2020)

Auteur : Tshabalala, Nokuthula

Université de soutenance : United States International University - Africa

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

From intense droughts to heavy rainfall and rising sea levels, climate change is causing erratic weather patterns all over the world. According to current academic research rural women, more than men, are the most vulnerable to the effects of this changing weather. In this light, this research study looks at the adaptation strategies being utilized by rural women in Botswana’s Okavango Delta, as their daily lives are threatened by the rising temperatures of climate change. The semi-arid country of Botswana has, over the past ten years, been slowly reeling from the devastating effects of global warming. The Southern African nation is home to one of Africa’s few remaining wetlands, the Okavango Delta : a freshwater oasis inhabited by hundreds of unique animals and plants. This wetland is a source of livelihood for different ethnic groups in the northern part of Botswana, where women are known to fish from the Delta, make baskets from the river reeds and use its water for arable farming. But these activities are currently under threat to climate change with weather experts recording low water levels on the Okavango Delta over the past two years. In particular, the drying of the delta will affect the women from the Bayei and Hambukushu clans, situated in the Seronga village along the Okavango Delta, which this study focuses on. Utilising both qualitative and quantitative research methods, this study gathers data on the practices the rural women of Seronga are using to adapt to climate change in order to contribute to the existing knowledge of women, climate change and their existing mitigation strategies. The findings herein will assist future studies to look at adaptation through local lenses, instead of a generalized context, to assist countries like Botswana to design and implement gender sensitive policies that will empower and propel the adaptation of women from vulnerable communities from the effects of climate change.


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