Climate change and the efforts of indigenous people in adaptation and mitigation in Tukuyu, Mbeya-Rungwe District Tanzania

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Kampala International University, School of Engineering and Applied Sciences
Normally at the absolute bottom of the social strata, whether in rich or poor countries, are the indigenous or native peoples who are generally the least powerful, most neglected groups in the world. In many countries these indigenous people are repressed by traditional caste systems, discriminatory laws, economics, or prejudice. Unique cultures are disappearing along with biological diversity as natural habitats are destroyed to satisfy industrialized world appetites for resources. According to Nyong and Kanaroglou indigenous people are the more vulnerable to climate change impacts (Nyong and Kanaroglou 1999), thus there is need to consider their culture and their knowledge using to adapt and mitigate effects of climate change since they are cost effective and can easily be implemented. Tukuyu being part of Tanzania in Southern high lands also witnessing impacts of climate change whereby indigenous people had never stop to air out problems they are facing induced by climate change. The aim of this research was to identify indigenous and local observations, knowledge and practices related to understanding climate change impacts, adaptation and mitigation in Tukuyu. Samples of 48 respondents were randomly selected in four villages. The study interviewed agriculturists, students, teachers and business men/women. Data was collected using interview guide, observation checklists and reviewing of literature. Data collected was then analysed and presented in bar charts. The study showed that indigenous knowledge and practices used in adaptation and mitigation of climate change include mixed farming and multiple cropping, zero tilling practices in cultivation, contour farming, mulching, adjustments to planting dates, planting trees along water sources and Land buffer zone on sacred forests. The most knowledgeable people were teachers, followed by farmers, then students and business men/women were the least knowledgeable groups. However it was noted that little effort is being done by the government and CBOs/ NGOs. Therefore, I recommend that there should be community awareness and education through the help of Non Governmental Organisation (NGOs), Community Based Organisations (CBOs) and the government also the government to take more steps forward to promote indigenous and local knowledge used to fight climate change so as to help indigenous people to be less vulnerable to impacts of climate change.
A research report submitted in partial fulfillment of the award of a Degree in Bachelor of Science in Environmental Management of Kampala International University
Climate change, Indigenous people, Rungwe District, Tanzania