Assessment of Local Community Understanding of and Response to Climate Change the case of Four Kebeles of Dire Dawa City

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Addis Ababa University


Climate change is causing the greatest environmental, social and economic threats to all of mankind and across borders in many nalio17s. Perception aboul the causes, impacts and the necesswy reJpol1se mechanisms 10 cope with climate calamilies is important.!or any popula/ion in a g iven community. In view of this fact therejore, this study considers local coml1lunity understanding of and response to climate change, foc using mainly on insight of Ihe local community 011 weather change, climate change, causes and the impacts of climate change, underslClnding of local community lowards flood risk. local cOlJl/llunily concern and personal imporlance o.lrhe climate change issue and perception of the local community on controlling or adapling 10 Climate Change. The sludy was canducled in four kebeles' of Dire Dawa Adminislralive Council as one ~llhe flood prone area in the country. Allhough Ihis study explores a variety of palenlially salient influences on percepliol1s Clnd re~ponses fo C/imale change, one faC ial' Ihal is given par/icular allel1lion is experience and understanding afflooding. The silidy relied on bOlh qualilalive and quautilalive melhods oldala colleclion and analysis. 7i,e primw)' claw were collecled by using qualilalive daw galhering fOols sllch as FGDs ami key in/ormanl inlerviews. Accordingly. /11'0 FGDs, were held wilh local people purposivelv ,I'e!ecled .f;~om Iwo kebeles. Int erviews were done with eight purposively selec(ed individuals. With (he view of supplemenling (he qualilalive data, Ihe sludy employed a ljueSlionnaire survey wilh 107 sampled heads ofhou.l·eholds selecledji'om four keheles of Dire Dawa. 1i,e/indings ollhe s"fdy showed Ihallemperailires had increased, rain/all levels had decreased and Ihe liming of rain/ all had undergone changes and Ihe region is gelling drier and drier in Dire Dmva. 717e findings also confirmed lital weather is changing solely due to al1lhropogenic (humall aCliviry; callses. The finding also showed I/-WI. Ihe locet! comllnmily awareness (aud underslanding) of C/imale change does not seem 10 have advanced in recel1l years and hence, Ihere is li/fle awareness oflhe issue ofclimale change. The Jinding soughllhat wifh regard 10 Ihe connection belweenjlooding and c/imale change, Ihe respondents do nol al all see (he connec/;on belween dimale change and flooding. Masl people Ihink Ihal climale change hm begun ({nd a grelt/ many acknowledge Ihal il is a serious problem. lIawever, compared 10 olher problems, Ihe cOIJIJ/1unily has not ranked clilJ1clle change among lIS lOp cOl1cerns.. A10st respondenls blame government and businesses maslfor not doing more to combat clima!e change. They (hink these institutions - e5pecially governmenl - should do more. MOSf people recognize !hal Ihey, as individuals, and their local c0ll11l11ll1ity also make some c011ll'ibllliol1 to climate change and many jeellmea.\y aboUllheir own role. Fil1a/~y, {he study slIggesls, creating awareness among the population and po/icyl11akers abou( climate change. its callses and ils co}}sequences is needed. Information needs (0 he provided {o the CUl1IlIIlfIlily in order for {hem 10 lake appropriale adaplive measlIre.'}· and cOI'I\'ince INople of the greal seriousness (~r the prohlem (l clilllate change by making clear Ihe mogl/illldf! (l the possible lusses ;ulloll'ed.



Local Community Understanding