Household Level of Preparedness to Climate Change in Mandera County, Kenya
Climate change is a threat to global development and Sub-Saharan Africa in particular. The high vulnerability of the continent to the impact of climate change results from the fact that Africa as a whole has a high dependence on natural resources, poor infrastructure, pervasive poverty and weak institutional capacity to respond and mitigate environmental disasters effectively. In Kenya, Mandera County is characterized by fragile and sensitive ecosystem and, has been facing droughts, floods, epidemics, livestock diseases and conflicts whose impacts have caused devastation. The objective of this study was to determine the level of preparedness of households to climate change in Mandera County, Kenya. This research relied on the Anthropogenic Theory of Climate Change which is widely used in disaster risk reduction. Cluster random sampling, multistage sampling and simple random sampling were employed in the sampling strategy. To measure their reliability, Alpha (Cronbach) technique was utilized whose co-efficient of internal consistency was established at 0.86. The study used a sample size of 384 household heads using the Fisher formula and 72 key informants. Out of the six constituencies, Mandera North, Mandera South and Mandera East were selected based on setups i.e. rural and urban. Majority of the household respondents were able to conceptualize the concept of climate change as shown by 80.2% (308) with the main source of knowledge being the media (radio) 33.3% (128). The main factors causing vulnerability to climate change in Mandera County were; poverty 20.6% (79), pastoral lifestyle 16.4% (63) and poor infrastructure 15.4% (59) respectively. Out of the 384 household heads, 96.1% (369) indicated that they do not have household disaster preparedness plans while 78.6% (302) cited that they did not receive early warning information about climate change. Similarly, only 2.3% (9) indicated that their community was prepared towards climatic change, 3.4% (13) stated that they take early action upon receiving early warning information on climate change induced disasters with 74.7% (277) citing lack of capacity to take early action. Indigenous knowledge mechanisms included; observation of livestock behaviour 19.5% (75), observation of migration pattern of birds 16.4% (63) and signs of trees shading leaves 13.3% (51). The main measure required to enhance preparedness to climate change was solar irrigation and agro-forestry 15.6% (60). The study established an existing gap between climate change awareness and preparedness in Mandera County.
Climate Change, Early Warning Information, Community Coping Strategies
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