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Accueil du site → Master → Afrique du Sud → 2012 → ’The changing climate of livelihoods in Lesotho’ : the vulnerability of rural livelihoods in Phelantaba village, northern Lesotho, to climate variability and change

University of Johannesburg (2012)

’The changing climate of livelihoods in Lesotho’ : the vulnerability of rural livelihoods in Phelantaba village, northern Lesotho, to climate variability and change

Bell, Jarred

Titre : ’The changing climate of livelihoods in Lesotho’ : the vulnerability of rural livelihoods in Phelantaba village, northern Lesotho, to climate variability and change

Auteur : Bell, Jarred

Université de soutenance : University of Johannesburg

Grade : Master of Arts (2012)

Résumé
At the local-level, rural households in Lesotho, like across much of Southern Africa, suffer high livelihood vulnerability from their experience of poverty, marginalisation and dependence on natural resources. In Lesotho, rural households experience similar livelihood vulnerability from their exposure and sensitivity to these numerous social, economic and environmental stressors. In the coming decades, rural households, like those in Phelantaba village, northern Lesotho, will face even greater livelihood vulnerability from the impacts of anthropogenically influenced climate change. This phenomenon will possibly become one of the greatest stressors that rural livelihoods in the village will experience and have to adapt to. The overall objective of this dissertation was to undertake a site-specific assessment of the vulnerability of rural livelihoods in Phelantaba village to the impacts of future climate change. The rationale behind this was that the impacts of future climate change will not be spatially homogenous across a region. A vulnerability index, based on the composition of household livelihoods of the five livelihood capitals, was utilised to determine the livelihood vulnerability of Phelantaba households. In addition, participatory rural appraisal methods were applied in village focus groups to identify the coping strategies households relied upon to cope with climatic variability. Results illustrated that the most vulnerable households in Phelantaba village face the greatest livelihood vulnerability due to their poor access to physical capital and mimimal financial capital, coupled with their dependence on natural capital. Least vulnerable households faced lower vulnerability as they have good financial capacity and access to physical capital to respond to impacts of future climate change. Focus groups highlighted how households in Phelantaba do not have any specific coping strategies designed to address climatic variability. Rather, coping strategies to address poverty and economic stressors were indirectly applied to assist households to cope with climatic variability. In conclusion, the dissertation successfully conducted a site-specific assessment in Phelantaba village of the livelihood vulnerability households faced from future climate change. This research can assist policy makers to understand some of the key vulnerabilities rural households face at the local-level and begin to focus adaptation initiatives on the key areas of concern where they are needed most due to the impacts of future climate change

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