Vulnerability and Adaptation Strategies of Rural Communities to Climate Change: The Case of Kola Tembien Woreda, Tigray Region

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Addis Ababauniversity


Ethiopia, like many other countries in Africa, is highly vulnerable to the harmful effects of climate change and the rural population, for whom agriculture is the primary source of food, direct and/or indirect employment and income, will be most affected due to agriculture's vulnerability to climate change. This study was conducted to assess locallagro ecology level vulnerabilities and adaptation strategies of rural communities to climate change in Kola Tembien Woreda, Tigray region. The specific objectives of the research are analyzing the level of vulnerability across different communities in different agro ecologies, identifYing the major adaptation strategies employed against the changing climate and the major factors influencing their strategies to adapt to climate change impacts. A stratified sampling was employed to determine the sample villages. Accordingly, four kebeles, namely Begashka, Tabotegiorgis, Limat and Menji were selected from two agro ecological zones. Sample household respondents were then selected randomly from each development group found in their respective kebeles. Household survey, focus group discussions and key informant interviews were employed. An indicator based vulnerability index was used to assess and compare the level of vulnerability across the selected kebeles and agro ecological zones. Besides, descriptive statistics was used to identifY the major adaptation strategies as well as major factors influencing the adaptation of rural communities. Results obtained from the vulnerability index revealed that there was a difference in the vulnerability levels of the selected kebeles. Accordingly, Menji (low land agroecology) and Begashka (Mid land agro-ecology) were found to be relatively more vulnerable than Limat (low land agro-ecology) and Tabotegiorgis (Mid land agro-ecology). The difference in· vulnerability was highly associated with the variations in the combined effects of livestock ownership, saving, access to microflnance, farm land sizes, irrigation potential, and education levels across the surveyed households. Adaptation strategies were found to be similar across the surveyed kebeles (agro ecologies) and various crops, livestock and land related strategies has been used across varied periods. However, households' choice of adaptation strategies were found to be influenced by financial constraints, shortage of information, poor potential for irrigation, land shortages .and even lack of labor: Therefore, efforts should be made by the local government and NGOs "to promote the: off-farm income-earning opportunities and localljarmlevel adaptation strategies by giving due attention to the early warning systems and disaster risk management to reduce vulnerability and improve income levels. Key words: vulnerability, principalpomponent analysis, adaptation strategies



vulnerability, principalpomponent analysis, adaptation strategies