Responding to climate change through joint partnership: insights from the Okavango Delta of Botswana
Oluwatoyin D. Kolawole, University of Botswana, Botswana
Piotr Wolski, University of Cape Town, South Africa
Barbara Ngwenya, University of Botswana, Botswana
Gagoitseope Mmopelwa, University of Botswana, Botswana
Olekae Thakadu, University of Botswana, Botswana
Purpose: Climate change continues to pose a serious challenge to mankind. Given their socio-economic and vulnerable situations, resource-poor farmers will be hard hit and likely to be the most affected group in Africa - a continent that will bear the full brunt of inclement weather conditions. Thus the paper addresses the questions of how local farmers read and predict the weather, and how best they can collaborate with weather scientists in adapting to climate change and variability in the Okavango Delta of Botswana.
Methodology: A multi-stage sampling procedure was employed to sample a total of 592 households heads (both men and women) in eight rural communities in the Delta. A total of 19 weather scientists were purposively sampled.
Findings: Analysis indicates that a significant 84% of the farmers had a good knowledge of weather forecasting. In a knowledge validation workshop organized and implemented in early August 2012, farmers and scientists identified a 9-point agenda and strategies for addressing the challenges posed by climate change to community well-being and agricultural production. Knowledge sharing, installation of community weather stations, and local-level capacity building are amongst the strategies identified.
Originality/Value: The paper emanates from an original field research. The outcome of the paper provides pertinent information for policy formulation on how best to enhance small farmers’ adaptation to climate change.
Keywords: Climate variability, local knowledge, science, women, small farmers, weather forecast, mitigation and adaptation