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Cultural perspectives and responses to climate change in Ahero irrigation scheme sub-location, Kisumu county

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dc.contributor.author OPANDE, Kennedy Owino
dc.date.accessioned 2019-01-17T09:56:17Z
dc.date.available 2019-01-17T09:56:17Z
dc.date.issued 2017
dc.identifier.uri https://repository.maseno.ac.ke/handle/123456789/887
dc.description.abstract Climate change accounts for ninety percent of global weather-related natural disasters. Cultural perspectives shape the interpretation and expression of climate change phenomenon among indigenous peoples all over the world. In Kenya, research and discourse have under-represented sociocultural perspectives on climate change. The people of Ahero Irrigation Scheme sub-location in Kenya draw on cultural perspectives to explain and adapt to climate change. However, studies have least explored the way cultural perspectives facilitate local understanding of and adaptation to climate change. This study set out to examine how cultural perspectives contribute to responses to climate change in Ahero Irrigation Scheme, Kisumu County. The first objective was to analyse how indigenous beliefs helped in explaining climate change. Secondly, to examine how local people’s attitudes influenced community members’ expressions of the climate change; and thirdly, to explore sociocultural adaptation to climate change in the study area. Cultural Ecology Theory by Julian Steward (1955) guided the study based on a cross-sectional descriptive design. The study population was 945 households. The study targeted 105 household heads for survey determined using Kathuri and Pals (1993) formula and additional 56 participants for qualitative data. The survey respondents were selected through systematic random sampling, while participants for qualitative data were purposively sampled. Semi-structured questionnaires were used to collect both quantitative and qualitative data, whereas focus group discussions, key informant interviews, and non-participant observation generated qualitative data. The qualitative data were analysed thematically, with quantitative data analysed using the Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS) version 24. Qualitative data were presented through narratives and verbatim quotes, whilst quantitative data were presented in frequency tables and percentages. Results indicate that 81 percent of the respondents expressed concern that climate change poses a serious threat to human survival. This encourages the generation of sociocultural adaptation and mitigation strategies by the local people. The study indicates that indigenous beliefs, local attitudes and traditional coping strategies influence the explanation, interpretation and responses to climate change among the residents of Ahero Irrigation Scheme sub-location. The study further shows that these cultural representations of climate change are contextualized expressions that demonstrate the local people’s worldview on the evolution of local climate. From this perspective, climate change is entwined with human ecology, local cosmologies, and social systems. The study recommends that cultural perspectives on the local weather patterns and seasons should be considered to determine how they can inform scientific models of prediction of climate change hazards. Contemporary climate change mitigation strategies should be informed by local attitudes, as they present the people’s views regarding their ecological progression. Similarly, local indigenous response strategies should be considered in framing the policies aimed at controlling the adverse effects of climate change on local livelihoods. en_US
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.publisher Maseno University en_US
dc.subject Anthropology en_US
dc.title Cultural perspectives and responses to climate change in Ahero irrigation scheme sub-location, Kisumu county en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US


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