Climate Change Vulnerability Assessments and Community Adaptation Strategies in Dry and Coastal Areas of Tanzania




This paper presents lessons from a study on climate change vulnerability and adaptive capacity of communities in six villages from four Tanzanian districts namely Gairo, Kilosa, Kiteto and Pangani. The paper is based on the premise that, understanding of climate change vulnerability and adaptive capacity of communities will assist in developing and integrating adaptation strategies in local government plans and budgets. The approach used in data collection was divided into two major fronts namely literature review and participatory data gathering methods. The participatory data gathering methods included key informants interviews and focus group discussions. Results indicate that climate change induced impacts include drought, floods, changes of the ocean wind direction and duration, changes in rain seasons and rainfall intensity. These have been mentioned to have major negative impact on natural, physical, financial, human and social resources. Coping strategies for each particular impact were identified. Starting with drought, the strategies included selling labour, remittances, irrigated agriculture, tree planting, selling of cattle to secure money for constructing water ponds, rainwater harvesting, and reducing number of livestock by destocking and shifting livestock to other areas where pastures are available. For floods the identified strategies included rehabilitation and re-construction of the damaged infrastructures, trees planting in the degraded areas, terrace farming for land conservation, checking soil erosion and restoring soil moisture and loaning from inter religion village community banks (IR-VICOBA) schemes. For desertification strategy identified was tree planting. For strong winds the strategies included tree planting, terrace farming and fishing using explosives and poisons (which is however illegal and destructive). In order to mitigate and adapt to climate change induced impacts, the study recommends the following: development of climate change impacts awareness campaigns; promotion of alternative off-farm income generating activities (IGAs) to the communities; enforcement of village environmental by-laws; educating herders on the need to destock their animals (to match with the carrying capacity); formation of groups in which mobilization of financial resources to purchase engine-powered boats can be done (this will help to increase fish catch from deep sea) and stopping using illegal fishing gears.

Keywords: Climate change impacts, adaptation strategies, financial resources, Inter Religious Village Community Bank (IR-VICOBA), local government plans, natural resources, gender based strategies



How to Cite

SHEMDOE, R. S. (2018). Climate Change Vulnerability Assessments and Community Adaptation Strategies in Dry and Coastal Areas of Tanzania. The Journal of Building and Land Development, 18(1 & 2), 33-43. Retrieved from