Assessment of Farmers' Vulnerability to Impacts of Climate Change & Variability and their Water Related Adaptation Strategies The Case of Lode Hetosa Woreda, Arsi Zone, Ethiopia

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Addis Ababa University


Climate change and variability causes long term effects on human systems. However, not all individuals and groups exposed to a certain climate change-related hazard are equally vulnerable. Vulnerability of human systems, therefore, depends on exposure to climate change the sensitivity and adaptive capacity of the system . .It is with this basic notion that this paper tried to assess the vulnerability of farmers in Lode Hetosa woreda to impacts of climate change and variability and their water related adaptation strategies by taking flood and drought in to account. The research was done based on household survey conducted in the study wereda on 135 selected farmers from three agI'o ecologies, namely kolla, woinadega and dega. Beside the household survey, inputs from local and federal government officials, experts, community leaders and development partners in the target area were also participated as key informants, FGD and community mapping participants. The study revealed that the three agI'o ecologies in the woreda are not equally affected by the selected hazards-jlood and drought. Flood is found to be the most serious hazard in degalhighland agm ecology while drought is a major threat in kollallowland and woinadegalmidland agro ecology. The result of the study also showed that farmers in dega agro ecology have less adaptive capacity and depend on highly sensitive livelihood sources than their kolla and wOinadega counterpart in the study area .. An intra-community comparison of the study showed that households headed by women, elderly, children and illiterate household heads were foud to be more vulnerable to climate related impacts., Besides, the farmers in the study area were also found to be generally vulnerable as the degree of dependence on natural resource based livelihoods is higher and the share of non farm income and livelihood diversification is gel/emily lower in all the three agI'o ecologies. Added to these, application of planned water-related adaptation strategies in the study area is found to be low and is influenced by the status of farmers' vulnerability to climate change. Generally, the study suggests that the status of farmers' vulnerability and application of water related adaptation strategies is low and hence much effort is needed in the foture to improve the adaptive capacity of the communities so as to reduce their vulnerability .. Key words: Vulnembility, Adaptive Capacity, Climate change, Adaptation



Vulnerability, Adaptive Capacity, Climate change, Adaptation