Gender Dimension of Adaptation to Climate Change as Linked to Water-Energy-Food Nexus in Mecha Area, Northwest Ethiopia

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Addis Ababa University


Ethiopia is suffering from climate extremes in the form of frequent flood and drought. Men and women experienced the impact of climate change differently, specifically in poor countries like Ethiopia. The link between the adverse effects of climate change and gender inequality is inextricable. Gender inequality aggravates vulnerability to climate change and decreases adaptive capacity because of poor access to vital resources including water, energy and food. This problem calls a need to investigate the gender dimension of vulnerability and adaptation to climate change as linked to water-energy-food nexus. The objectives of the study are to analyze spatiotemporal climate variability to assess gender dimension of households’ vulnerability and adaptation to climate change and determinant factors to adopt adaptation technologies, and to explore gender dimension of climate change effects as linked to water-energy-food nexus in Mecha area, North-western Ethiopia. Using a household survey, quantitative data were collected from 416 randomly selected respondents and qualitative data were collected via in-depth and key informant interviews and focus group discussions. The research used inverse distance weighted interpolation tool, multinomial logit model and qualitative system dynamic approach: causal loop diagram to analyze the data. The research used statistical techniques such as means, frequencies, standard deviations, principal component analysis, t-test and one way between groups ANOVA. Findings reveal that warming trends of annual minimum and maximum temperature increased at a rate of 0.11 0 C and 0.08 0 C per decade, respectively. The mean annual and seasonal rainfall distribution shows statistically non-significant increasing trends. The results reveal that the vulnerability level of female-headed households is higher than maleheaded households in the irrigation area. The findings further reveal that female-headed household’ vulnerability level without irrigation was less than female-headed households with irrigation. Vulnerability level of male-headed households in the upper stream was more than male-headed households in the lower stream. Findings also showed that male and female farmers are different in undertaking adaptation options: more male farmers undertake adaptation options than female farmers. Further, findings reveal household heads’ age, farming experience, land size and access to extension services have a significant effect for male-headed households wherea use of credit services and climate information have positively associated with female-headed households’ selection of adaptation options. The last findings show that labour restriction, limited control over land and low income are major drivers that determined female-headed households’ less access to water, energy and food. Climate-induced problems perpetuate female-headed households’ limited access to productive resources. The results imply a need to introduce development strategies with a focus on female household heads for capacity building in different dimensions. Findings also suggest the need to gender-inclusive climate change policies with a wide range of institutional and technological support, particularly for the poorer and female household heads



gender; household head; spatiotemporal variability; vulnerability; adaptation options; water-energy-food nexus