variability and change are among the biggest challenges of the 21st century. Like in many other areas globally, the coastal communities of Tanzania
have always been facing climatic variability at various time scales. Using
focus group discussion and a household survey, this study analyzes the
perceptions of climate variability and change and the strategies for coping and
adaptation by the selected coastal rural and peri-urban communities in
Tanzania. The perception of climate variability and change is complemented with
the time-series analysis of rainfall and temperature data from Julius Nyerere
International Airport Met. station and Kisarawe using Instant Statistical
Software. Results indicate that households are aware of climate variability and
identify indicators of climate change and variability as being decreasing
rainfall trends, increasing incidences of droughts, unpredictable rainfall
patterns, disappearance of wetlands and failure to predict on-set of rainy
season using traditional knowledge. Households primarily attribute reduced crop
yields to changes in rainfall pattern and increasing incidences of drought
leading to soil moisture stress. The implications are that the agriculture
dependent households are now food insecure. As a way of coping to the observed
changes, the coastal communities among others have shifted to production of
high value horticultural crops and use of forest resources. Nevertheless, the
increased use of forest resources is threatening the existence of coastal
forests and contributes to the decline of forest resources and disappearance of
wildlife in the forest reserves. It is concluded that the communities studied
are aware of climate issues as revealed from perceived indicators of climate
variability and changes. The results from statistical analysis of 30 years climatic
data are consistent with community’s perception of climate variability and
change. The study recommends examining the present coping strategies for the
sustainability of the coastal forests and in designing of alternative adaptive
strategies such as alternative energy options, crop diversification and
environmental friendly activities such as beekeeping.
Cite this paper
Kashaigili, J. , Levira, P. , Liwenga, E. and Mdemu, M. (2014) Analysis of Climate Variability, Perceptions and Coping Strategies of Tanzanian Coastal Forest Dependent Communities. American Journal of Climate Change
, 212-222. doi: 10.4236/ajcc.2014.32020
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