Results showed that all interviewed farmers reported that they understand climate change

Results showed that all interviewed farmers reported that they understand climate change (CC) compared to the current situation of the local climate against the past 20 years. The most prominent general changes included the following: decreasing amount of rainfall, increasing temperatures, rains have become shorter as well as erratic rather than usual and changes in the onset of rainfall whereby farmers believe that the onset is now unusually late as shown in the multiple responses in Table 4.4:

Table 4.4: Household heads’ perception on climate change in the study area
Perception Mkungugu (N=70) Mkulula (N=80) Total (N=150) (F and %)
Frequency (F) Percent (%) Frequency (F) Percent (%)
Rainfall decreases in amounts during main season 66 94.3 78 97.4 144(96%)
Rainfall increasing in amounts during main season 06 8.5 02 2.5 8(5.3%)
A temperature decreasing 04 5.7 02 2.6 6(4%)
A temperature of the area increasing 69 98.6 76 95 145(96.6%)
Rain starts later than normal 67 95.7 75 93.8 142(94.6%)
Rain starts earlier than normal 00 00 00 00 00(0.0%)
Total 212 302.8% 233 291.3% 445(296.5%)
Source: Field Survey (2018)

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Results from the study revealed that about 96 percent of the respondents perceived a decrease in rainfall in the past 20 years. Also 96.6 percent experienced increases in temperature and only 4 percent felt that temperatures have been decreasing. As for rainfall, about 94.6 percent experienced a shift in timing at the onset of rainfall that started later than normal. There was no respondent who felt that rainfall start earlier than normal (Table 4.4). Details are presented in Figures 4.7 as well as 4.8.
Figure 4.7: Farmers’ perception on state of local climate in the study area

Source: Field Survey (2018)
Figure 4.8: Farmers perceptions on the state of the local climate in the village level

Source: Field Survey (2018)

Study results at village levels (see Figure 4.8) reflected the overall impression of all villages. The results from each village revealed no major variation from household heads’ perception on climate change in the study area (as illustrated in Table 4.4; Figure 4.7). Household heads’ perception showed the same trend even at village level. About 94.3 percent from Mkungugu and 97.4 percent from Mkulula perceived rainfall to have decreased (Table 4.4). Also farmers reported shift in timing at the onset of rainfall that started later than normal. The data showed that over 90 percent in total whereby from Mkungugu accounted for 95.7 percent and 93.8 percent from Mkulula felt that timing of onset has shifted. Apart from shift in rainfall timing, 98.6 percent and 95 percent from Mkungugu and Mkulula, respectively, experienced increases in temperature. As for rainfall increase, about 8.5 percent from Mkungugu and 2.5 percent from Mkulula felt that rainfall has been increasing in terms of amounts, very erratic and it takes a short time to rain (Table 4.4; Figure 4.7; Figure 4.8).
4.4.3 Changes in rainfall and temperature
The perception of CC experience from the interviewed households was related to findings from FGD and in-depth interviews with the village leader, experienced farmers, local NGOs and district agriculture experts. The findings revealed that there is CC whereby rainfall has been reported to decrease or fluctuate as witnessed an increase in temperatures for the past 20 years (Table 4.4). In general, farmers trust that the rising temperature trend was related to rainfall changes. Perception of the state of rainfall was first explained by key informants and the FGD members in at village level as described in Box 4.1, Box 4.2 and Box 4.3.

Box 4.1: Perceived changes in rainfall onset in addition to CC by farmers and experts

Additionally, it was also known that in the past, local communities had their own ways of predicting rainfall. Such measures were very useful, though in recent years, they are no longer helpful.

Box 4.2: Rainfall prediction methods by household heads who attended FGD in Mkulula

Regarding the state of temperature, various views and perceptions articulated that temperatures have been increasing and cooling for the past 20 years as quoted in the box below:

Box 4.3: Temperature changes by experienced farmers in the study area

4.4.4 Reasons for Changes of the Perceived Climate
Respondents were asked how they understood reasons for changes of local climate based on their knowledge and their experience. Both respondent household farmers, invited farmers for FGD, experienced key informants and agricultural experts had different opinions on perceived changes of local climate. The most notable factor in the changes of local climate was environmental dilapidation at local level contributed by deforestation mainly, for agriculture/deforestation (70%), timber (2%), rapid population growth (16%), bushfires (10%) and remaining (2%) were unfamiliar with causes of changes (Figure 4.9).


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