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Open AccessArticle

Communities’ Livelihood Vulnerability to Climate Variability in Ethiopia

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The United Graduate School of Agricultural Sciences, Tottori University, 4-101 Koyama-Minami, Tottori 680-8553, Japan
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Institute of Disaster Risk Management and Food Security Studies, Bahir Dar University, P.O. Box 79, Bahir Dar 6000, Ethiopia
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Arid Land Research Center, Tottori University, 1390 Hamasaka, Tottori 680-0001, Japan
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International Platform for Dryland Research and Education, Tottori University, 1390 Hamasaka, Tottori 680-0001, Japan
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College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, Bahir Dar University, Bahir Dar 5501, Ethiopia
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Faculty of Agriculture, Tottori University, 4-101 Koyama-Minami, Tottori 680-8550, Japan
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College of Business and Economics, Bahir Dar University, P.O. Box 79, Bahir Dar 6000, Ethiopia
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Department of Geography, San Diego State University, San Diego, CA 92182, USA
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Faculty of Civil and Water Resource Engineering, Bahir Dar Institute of Technology, Bahir Dar University, P.O. Box 26, Bahir Dar 6000, Ethiopia
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Faculty of Life and Environmental Science, Shimane University, Shimane Matsue 690-0823, Japan
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2019, 11(22), 6302; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11226302
Received: 26 August 2019 / Revised: 30 October 2019 / Accepted: 7 November 2019 / Published: 9 November 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Soil Erosion and Sustainable Land Management (SLM))
Ethiopia has experienced more than 10 major drought episodes since the 1970s. Evidence has shown that climate change exacerbates the situation and presents a daunting challenge to predominantly rain-fed agricultural livelihoods. The aim of this study was to analyze the extent and sources of smallholder famers’ livelihood vulnerability to climate change/variability in the Upper Blue Nile basin. We conducted a household survey (n = 391) across three distinct agroecological communities and a formative composite index of livelihood vulnerability (LVI) was constructed. The Mann–Kendall test and the standard precipitation index (SPI) were employed to analyze trends of rainfall, temperature, and drought prevalence for the period from 1982 to 2016. The communities across watersheds showed a relative difference in the overall livelihood vulnerability index. Aba Gerima (midland) was found to be more vulnerable, with a score of 0.37, while Guder (highland) had a relatively lower LVI with a 0.34 index score. Given similar exposure to climate variability and drought episodes, communities’ livelihood vulnerability was mainly attributed to their low adaptive capacity and higher sensitivity indicators. Adaptive capacity was largely constrained by a lack of participation in community-based organizations and a lack of income diversification. This study will have practical implications for policy development in heterogeneous agroecological regions for sustainable livelihood development and climate change adaptation programs. View Full-Text
Keywords: climate change; drought; livelihood vulnerability; Shannon-entropy index climate change; drought; livelihood vulnerability; Shannon-entropy index
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Abeje, M.T.; Tsunekawa, A.; Haregeweyn, N.; Nigussie, Z.; Adgo, E.; Ayalew, Z.; Tsubo, M.; Elias, A.; Berihun, D.; Quandt, A.; Berihun, M.L.; Masunaga, T. Communities’ Livelihood Vulnerability to Climate Variability in Ethiopia. Sustainability 2019, 11, 6302.

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