Responding to climate change through joint partnership: Insights from the Okavango Delta of Botswana

Oluwatoyin Dare Kolawole (Okavango Research Institute, University of Botswana, Maun, Botswana)
Piotr Wolski (Okavango Research Institute, University of Botswana, Maun, Botswana and Climate System Analysis Group, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa)
Barbara Ngwenya (Okavango Research Institute, University of Botswana, Maun, Botswana)
Gagoitseope Mmopelwa (Okavango Research Institute, University of Botswana, Maun, Botswana and Department of Environmental Sciences, University of Botswana, Maun, Botswana)
Olekae Thakadu (Okavango Research Institute, University of Botswana, Maun, Botswana)

World Journal of Science, Technology and Sustainable Development

ISSN: 2042-5945

Publication date: 29 July 2014

Abstract

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. The purpose of this paper is to address 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.

Design/methodology/approach

A multi-stage sampling procedure was employed in sampling a total of 592 households heads (both men and women) in eight rural communities in the Okavango Delta, Botswana.

Findings

Analysis indicates that about 80 per cent of the farmers had a good knowledge of weather forecasting. In a knowledge validation workshop organised and implemented in early August 2012, farmers and scientists identified a nine-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.

Research limitations/implications

The research is only limited to the Okavango Delta, Botswana.

Originality/value

The paper emanates from 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

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank START and the US National Science Foundation (NSF) for awarding the 2011Grants for Global Environmental Change Research in Africa. The authors are also grateful to Ronald Mothobi and William Khaneguba for their guidance in the field survey process.

Citation

Dare Kolawole, O., Wolski, P., Ngwenya, B., Mmopelwa, G. and Thakadu, O. (2014), "Responding to climate change through joint partnership: Insights from the Okavango Delta of Botswana", World Journal of Science, Technology and Sustainable Development, Vol. 11 No. 3, pp. 170-181. https://doi.org/10.1108/WJSTSD-06-2014-0010

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2014, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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