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Climate Change Vulnerability and Adaptive Capacity in Garissa County, Kenya

In Garissa County, the impacts of climate change are already being felt by communities, who are seeking ways to adapt to the changes and to build resilient livelihoods. These changes are combined with other environmental, economic and political factors to create a situation of increasing vulnerability for poor and marginalized households. Women are particularly effected as they face additional social, cultural and political constraints to resource access and adaptive decision-making.

The Adaptation Learning Program for Africa (ALP) conducted participatory research and analysis on climate change vulnerability and adaptive capacity with six communities in Garissa County in 2011. Based on this analysis, this document explores the impacts of climate change on livelihoods in pastoral and agro-pastoral households, using the villages of Shant’abaq and Kone to illustrate the realities of climate change in vulnerable communities. It also aims to highlight the existing adaptive capacity within these communities and the issues that constrain people’s ability to put this capacity into action.

Conclusions and recommendations include:

  • Informed, adaptive and forward-looking decision making is central to adaptive capacity.
  • Adaptive capacity is shaped by gender.
  • Climate change is a driver of changes in gender roles and relations.
  • Diversification of livelihoods is an important strategy for building the resilience of the most vulnerable women and men to climate change.
  • Resilience may look different from wealth.
  • Access to climate information is critical for adaptive management of livelihoods.
  • Appropriate governance is essential for sustainable management of resources and risk management at community level.

(Adapted from source)