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Uncertain Futures - Adaptive capacities to climate variability and change in the Lake Victoria Basin

Author:
  • Sara Gabrielsson
Publishing year: 2012
Language: English
Pages:
Publication/Series: Lund Dissertations in Sustainability Science
Volume: 3
Document type: Dissertation
Publisher: Lund University Centre for Sustainability Science

Abstract english

The Lake Victoria basin (LVB) in East Africa can be considered a climate change hotspot because of its large rural population dependent on rain-fed farming. Drawing on extensive fieldwork (2007-2011) in rural communities along the shores of Lake Victoria in Kenya and Tanzania, I explore adaptive capacities to climate variability and change and discuss how they interrelate in situ. Using multiple methods, tools and techniques, including survey and rainfall data, individual and group interviews, interactive mapping of seasonal calendars and a multi-stakeholder workshop, I locate the place-based effects and responses to a number of converging climate induced stressors on smallholder farmers’ wellbeing and natural resources. Research findings show that adaptive capacities to climate variability and change in the LVB are complex, dynamic and characterized by high location-specificity, thereby signifying the value of using an integrative and place-based approach to understand climate vulnerability. Specifically, the study demonstrates how increased unpredictability in rainfall causes chronic livelihood stress illustrated by recurring and worsening periods of food insecurity, growing cash dependency and heavy disease burdens. The study also reveals that food and income buffers increase when and where farmers, particularly women farmers, collectively respond to climate induced stressors through deliberate strategies rooted in a culture of saving and planning. Nevertheless, the study concludes that smallholders in the LVB are facing a highly uncertain future with discernible, yet differentiated adaptation deficits, due to chronic livelihood stress driven by unequal access to fundamental adaptive capacities such as land, health, cash and collective networks.

Disputation

2012-05-04
13:15
Världen, Geocentrum 1, Sölvegatan 10, Lund
  • John Morton (Professor)

Keywords

  • Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
  • adaptive capacities
  • climate vulnerability
  • collective action
  • Lake Victoria Basin
  • smallholder farmers
  • sustainable adaptation
  • sustainability science.

Other

Published
  • Anne Jerneck
  • Lennart Olsson
  • ISBN: 978-91-7473-310-5
Sara Gabrielsson
E-mail: sara [dot] gabrielsson [at] LUCSUS [dot] lu [dot] se

Associate senior lecturer

LUCSUS (Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies)

+46 46 222 16 93

Josephson, 220

Josephson, Biskopsgatan 5, Lund

59

Short biography

Sara Gabrielsson is an Associate senior lecturer in Sustainability science at Lund University. Sara’s primary research focus is on Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) and sustainable development in Africa. Sara’s vision isto facilitate the interaction between academia and sanitation practitioners to enable the spread of sustainable WASH from theory to action.

Impact and communication

Policy work
Policy brief: Toward Sustainable Menstrual Health Managemant in Tanzania (PDF)

Capacity building

SUSTAIN

Land is Life

Media

Menskopp bidrar till bättre skolgång för tjejer i Tanzania, Sveriges radio, 2018 

Menskopp hjälper unga kvinnor i Tanzania få en bättre skolgång, SVT nyheter, 2018

Kära världen, låt oss prata mera om mens!, Debattartikel i Dagens Arena, 2018

Menstrual cups could help girls attend school in Tanzania, Lunduniversity.lu.se, 2018

Menskopp bidrar till bättre skolgång för tjejer i Tanzania, lu.se, 2018

Videos

"Breaking the Silence" - A film about the challenges with Menstrual Health Management in rural Tanzania

LUCSUS
P.O. Box 170, SE-221 00 Lund, Sweden
Phone: +46(0)46- 222 80 81
info [at] lucsus [dot] lu [dot] se