Climate, Land Use Change and Local Adaptation Strategies in Ecological Areas. Case of Miwaleni River Valley

Climate change issues are contemporary global phenomena which affect the largest part of the world in different ways. This paper explores how local communities living in sensitive ecological areas, particularly in river valleys, respond to and adapt to climate change. By employing a qualitative research approach, findings have indicated that heavy rainfall and prolonged droughts coupled with population increase have led to land use changes and loss of biodiversity in the river valley. In turn, 37% of villagers have decided to shift from rain-fed to irrigated agriculture, 34% move to other areas during the heavy rain season while 29% have shifted from agricultural activities. However, due to limited resources and technology, the strategies adapted have not provided satisfactory results. For this case, dam construction in the upper stream and dredging of Miwaleni springs can improve livelihood social and economic activities in the village and sustain biodiversity and ecosystem in the river valley.

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