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    A dynamic assessment of adaptive capacity to climate change: A case study of water management in Makondo, Uganda

    Tembo, Mavuto Denis (2013) A dynamic assessment of adaptive capacity to climate change: A case study of water management in Makondo, Uganda. PhD thesis, National University of Ireland Maynooth.

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    This thesis is carried out against the backdrop of serious concerns that climate change will affect the livelihoods of rural people in Sub-Saharan Africa. I examine the adaptive capacity of people at the micro-scale of action and practice in rural Africa, in particular those in Makondo Parish, in the southwest of Uganda. The focus is on the way adaptive capacity emerges from the interaction of community members, extra-local actors such as non-governmental organizations, and national and local policy-makers. The thesis builds upon literature that explores adaptive capacity at the micro-scale of action and practice in rural Africa. The research, which employs context-sensitive methods, specifically ethnographic and participatory methodologies, contributes to a growing literature on adaptive capacity to climate change in three key ways. First, methodologically, I argue that the application of participatory Geographical Information Systems (PGIS) alongside ethnography can offer a context-sensitive approach for assessing the complex subject of adaptive capacity. The approach – which I refer to as a ‗dynamic assessment of adaptive capacity‘ – can reveal data about people and their places that might not otherwise emerge; data that may be of critical importance to understanding adaptive capacities. The approach helps uncover complex realities in relation to both social connections and connections with place. Second, the thesis explores adaptive capacity and water governance. The results of the research reveal that relations and practices may affect the adaptive capacity of people in these areas to deal with climate change. Although at the household level people display context-based adaptive strategies such as water recycling and seasonal adjustments, the overall adaptive capacity of community members is constrained by gender-based and village-level water governance mechanisms that limit how future adaptive strategies will develop. My dynamic assessment of adaptive capacity takes these complex issues into consideration with a view to developing an understanding of how adaptive capacity is shaped by access to resources and power. My study therefore suggests that, at the micro-scale, adaptive capacity strategies require efforts that address multiple limitations with regards water governance, because these limitations may be associated with the various determinants of adaptive capacity. The third contribution concerns the role of agro-pastoralism in shaping adaptive capacity. Results from the research reveal that adaptive capacity is happening via a complex web of relationships that have implications at individual level. Agro-pastoralists display context-based adaptive strategies such as application of local knowledge about water, cooperation and sharing and seasonal diversification of livelihoods. All these coping mechanisms benefit wider community in Makondo. However, the overall adaptive capacity of agro-pastoralists is constrained by enclosure that limits how future adaptive capacity will develop.

    Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
    Keywords: climate change; case study; water management; Makondo; Uganda;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Social Sciences > Geography
    Item ID: 4602
    Depositing User: IR eTheses
    Date Deposited: 19 Nov 2013 10:15
      Use Licence: This item is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike Licence (CC BY-NC-SA). Details of this licence are available here

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