Journal of Biodiversity Management & ForestryISSN: 2327-4417

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Analysis of Spatial Variation of Vulnerability to Climate Change and Variability in Kigoma Region, Western Tanzania

This study analyzed communities’ vulnerability in Buhigwe and Kasulu districts, Kigoma region -western Tanzania. Study sites and respondents were selected through simple random and purposive sampling methods. Data were collected though household surveys, key informants interviews, and focus group discussions. Quantitative data analysis tools included meteorological statistics software such as Clidata, INSTANT, XLSTAT and SPSS. Findings indicate interannual and seasonal variability of rainfall and temperature levels from the normal across the study sites. Study revealed significant increasing trends for mean annual Maximum and Minimum temperature. Major changes in patterns and trends were decrease of seasonal and annual rainfall, unreliable onset and cessation of rainfall, and erratic seasonal rainfall. Maximum decline of seasonal rainfall had slope values of −14.51, while maximum decline of annual rainfall trends had slope values of -12.76. The minimum decline for seasonal rainfall had slope values of -2.17 and annual rainfall trends had slope values of -1.36. Villages in the highland zone were found to be highly vulnerable with 0.61 vulnerability index value. Major climate stress factors for communities’ vulnerability included seasonal variability of rainfall and increase of temperature, which had effects on crop production and livestock keeping such as increase of pests and diseases, low agricultural yields and decrease in income. Nonclimate stress factors such as landscape characteristics, mobility, inadequate extension services, and low household asset endowment might have been accelerating communities’ vulnerability to the effects of the changing climate. Generally, changes in climate condition have been influencing communities’ vulnerability. Therefore, given current and uncertainties regarding future climate conditions, concerted efforts are required to enhance adaptive capacity at household and community levels, for the sustainability of communities’ livelihoods. Some of the interventions for enhancing adaptive capacity can include early warning systems, post-harvest management, awareness raising, and supporting alternative crop cultivars and animal breeds..

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