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Climate Change and Pastoralism: Vulnerability and Adaptation among the Karamojong Pastoralists of Uganda

This research examined the vulnerability and the adaptation strategies of the Karamojong pastoralists amidst climate change. Although pastoralists have demonstrated great resilience in harnessing natural resources in the drylands, the impact of climate change is threatening their livelihoods. To date little research has been done on how pastoralists cope with and adapt to the challenges posed by climate change. The research was qualitative in nature, based on six focus group discussions and eight semi structured interviews done in the two districts of Kaabong and Kotido north of Karamoja region.

The findings of the study shows that the future of pastoralism in Karamoja is uncertain due to multiple challenges like severe drought, ethnic conflict, some government policies, restriction of mobility and diseases. Moreover, most policies and development planning in Karamoja does not support the integration of pastoralism or even its recovery from shocks, risk and drought related disasters, but rather a change to sedentary crop farming.
Also, the diversity currently experienced within the pastoral livelihoods as a result of climate change and a wide range of environmental, political and economic factors presents a big challenge to pastoralists’ adaptation to dryland condition. Climate change has accelerated increased frequency of drought, hastened asset depletion by narrowing the window for livelihood recovery, intensifying pressure on depleted water and pasture thus forcing pastoralist resort to the already strained coping strategies.

Ambrose Dbit Toolit 2010

Permanent link to this article: http://kimmagedsc.ie/dissertation/climate-change-pastoralism-vulnerability-adaptation/