Social-ecological typologies to climate variability among pastoralists in Namwala district - Zambia.

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Mweemba, Liberty
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World Journal of Sociology and Anthropology
Agriculture in Zambia has the potential to enhance economic growth and reduce poverty. Despite its huge potential, the development of the livestock sector has been stifled by a number of barriers, among them climate variability. The case of Namwala District in Southern Zambia illustrates how pastoralists have developed multiple resilience strategies to climate variability, livestock diseases and altered flooding of the Kafue River between two dams. The study was exploratory in nature and used both qualitative and quantitative data to allow for descriptions of given geographical phenomena. Results showed that population in cattle have increased resulting into reduced area available for grazing per cow with respect to access to water and pasture regimes. This implies that the Kafue Flats is prone to overgrazing in view of combined increased floodplain agriculture, successive droughts and increase in the number of cattle. Thus, climate variability and ecological dynamics have continued to threaten the resilience of pastoralists. However, despite vulnerability to climatic variability (droughts and floods) and cattle diseases, poor nutrition and husbandry practices, the pastoral typologies in Namwala have survived, demonstrating resilience, dynamic and self-organizing adaptive behaviour in a rural society. It was concluded that pastoralists have built up sufficient adaptive capacity to live with change and uncertainties. Therefore, resilience building in pastoral social-ecological typology and management of common property resources like the Kafue Flood Plain in Namwala, demands preserving and nurturing existing social, economic and ecological components that enable pastoralists to renew and reorganize livelihoods. Keywords: Climate variability, Namwala, Pastoralists, Resilience, Social-ecological typologies, Vulnerability
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Climate Variability--Zambia. , Agriculture--Climate change--Zambia. , Social-ecological typologies. , Pastoralists.