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University of Zambia (2016)

Traditional environmental knowledge among lozi people in mitigating climate change effects in the barotse plains of Western Zambia

Banda, Stephen

Titre : Traditional environmental knowledge among lozi people in mitigating climate change effects in the barotse plains of Western Zambia

Auteur : Banda, Stephen

Université de soutenance : University of Zambia

Grade : Doctor of Philosophy in Adult Education 2016

Résumé partiel
The genesis of this study comes from the realization that little was known about the role of traditional environmental knowledge among Lozi adults in mitigating climate change in the Barotse plains of Mongu District, Western Zambia. Climate change has indeed emerged as the most prominent global environmental problem (IPCC, 2007). At the time of conducting this study in the year 2015, negative effects of climate change were a source of great concern in Zambia. Climate change endangers not only our ecosystems, communities and cultures, but the future of humanity itself. Western Zambia and particularly south-western and southern Zambia lie in a zone of very high risk from the negative impacts of climate change, being at the southern extremity of the migratory track of the Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone. The Barotse plains are found in the rural part of Western Zambia experiencing high impacts of climate change coupled with high illiteracy rates. Few rural residents in Zambia have access to seasonal climate forecasts from the meteorological department. As observed by Salick and Byg (2010) in many such rural areas, indigenous people tend to use indigenous knowledge systems to solve their environmental problems. Although studies conducted elsewhere in Africa have shown that people in rural communities use indigenous knowledge systems to solve environmental problems (see Salick and Byg, 2010 ; Gyampoh, et al., 2007 ; Atteh, 1992), little was known about how Lozi adults in the Barotse plains of Western Zambia mitigated negative effects of climate change. This study was an attempt to fill in this knowledge gap. The study was guided by the following objectives : i) to find out how Lozi adults around Lealui Ward area of the Barotse plains had been affected by climate change ; ii) to assess the role of traditional environmental knowledge among Lozi adults of Lealui Ward area in mitigating climate change ; and iii) to establish what could be done to enhance traditional environmental knowledge among Lozi adults around Lealui Ward area in mitigating climate change. In order to achieve these objectives, the following specific research questions were formulated : i) how have Lozi adults around Lealui Ward area of the Barotse plains been affected by climate change ; ii) what is the role of traditional environmental knowledge among Lozi adults of Lealui Ward area of the Barotse plains in mitigating climate change ; and iii) how can traditional environmental knowledge among Lozi adults around Lealui Ward area of the Barotse plains be enhanced to mitigate climate change ? This research was a case study, which employed more qualitative than quantitative approach to collect and analyse data. The pilot study was conducted in Kalabo while the main research was in Lealui Ward area in the Barotse plains of Mongu District, Western Zambia. According to statistics captured in the 2010 national census, Mongu had a population of 179,585 people. Interestingly only about a quarter of this population live in Mongu town, while the majority live in the Barotse plains (http://www.zamstats.gov.zm).

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