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Nelson Mandela University (2022)

Climate Change and Rural Livelihoods : A Case of Insiza District, Matabeleland

Nyoni, Sibusisiwe Ruth

Titre : Climate Change and Rural Livelihoods : A Case of Insiza District, Matabeleland

Auteur : Nyoni, Sibusisiwe Ruth

Université de soutenance : Nelson Mandela University

Grade : Master of Arts (MA) 2022

Owen Jones’ famous article “Why don’t we treat climate change with the same urgency as Coronavirus” puts forward an intriguing dimension to the climate change phenomenon. Despite the threat it presents to millions of people as well as the world economy, little has been done to prevent countries from being overwhelmed by its effects. Due to the fact that climate change is happening now, the purpose of this study provides insight into climate change and rural livelihoods in Insiza district, Matabeleland. In this study, an interpretivist paradigm was adopted as it gave the researcher adequate information that embodies an account of the participants’ understanding of livelihood assets. The qualitative research approach was adopted as it allowed the researcher to classify the findings into broad themes in order to tell a story. Farmers in Insiza district who depend on agriculture for subsistence were interviewed to provide insight into this phenomenon. The findings of the study revealed that climate stresses, non-climate stresses as well as institutional constraints together contribute to the vulnerability of farmers. Additionally, the findings unveiled that the inconsistent weather patterns as well as the recurrent droughts in the area have pushed most farmers to find alternative means of livelihood. Therefore, farmers over time have resorted to other self-taught means of making a living such as building, small scale mining, buying and selling of clothing items, running grocery stores, baking, owning backyard vegetable gardens, welding, fishing, selling firewood and growing chickens for sale. On the same note the findings showed that farmers in Insiza district employ different coping strategies in attempting to deal with climate change. The most common method in the area of study is conservation farming which has to do with digging pits to store water. More so, the findings displayed that NGOs have been of great assistance in equipping farmers at such a time as this. The study recommends that the government needs to ensure financial and institutional mechanisms to assist the Insiza community. Also, the NGOs must continue to support the communities through equipping them to diversify their portfolios and through developing tailor made capacity building programmes. To the farmers it is recommended that they continue to move in unity and form relationships with other farmers from other districts and provinces so that they can continue to share information.

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Page publiée le 13 janvier 2023