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      Adaptation measures to sustain indigenous practices and the use of indigenous knowledge systems to adapt to climate change in Mutoko rural district of Zimbabwe

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      Jàmbá : Journal of Disaster Risk Studies

      AOSIS

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          Abstract

          This article examines adaptation measures used to sustain indigenous practices and the use of indigenous knowledge systems (IKS) to adapt to climate change in Mutoko rural district of Zimbabwe. Community-based adaptation is able to reduce the vulnerability as well as improve the resilience of the local people to climatic variability and change. Subsistence farmers have always adopted adaptive strategies to some of these changes over the years. As such, the adoption of indigenous practices will significantly help rural community members to adapt to climate change. This study employed a qualitative method and an exploratory design, and the results are derived from 30 purposively selected in-depth interviews. The study discovered that there are numerous measures used to adapt to climate change and subsequently to sustain indigenous practices. The study also found that the community no longer grows maize in large quantities, having shifted to millet and sorghum in order to adapt to climate change. The community also provided various strategies to adapt to climate change. These strategies include mulching, creating large storage houses for produce and creating temporary walls on riverbanks in order to store water when the rivers dry up. This study concludes that climate change adaptation measures employed by the community have significantly helped them to sustain their indigenous practices in many ways. Also, the use of IKS, through activities such as crop type change from maize to traditional millet and sorghum (which facilitates traditional lifestyle and activities), re-establishes the community’s indigenous practices since they are made to observe the practices of yesteryear.

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          Most cited references 43

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          Adaptation, adaptive capacity and vulnerability

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            Indicators for social and economic coping capacity—moving toward a working definition of adaptive capacity

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              Indigenous health and climate change.

               Julian Ford (2012)
              Indigenous populations have been identified as vulnerable to climate change. This framing, however, is detached from the diverse geographies of how people experience, understand, and respond to climate-related health outcomes, and overlooks nonclimatic determinants. I reviewed research on indigenous health and climate change to capture place-based dimensions of vulnerability and broader determining factors. Studies focused primarily on Australia and the Arctic, and indicated significant adaptive capacity, with active responses to climate-related health risks. However, nonclimatic stresses including poverty, land dispossession, globalization, and associated sociocultural transitions challenge this adaptability. Addressing geographic gaps in existing studies alongside greater focus on indigenous conceptualizations on and approaches to health, examination of global-local interactions shaping local vulnerability, enhanced surveillance, and an evaluation of policy support opportunities are key foci for future research.
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                Author and article information

                Affiliations
                [1 ]Department of Sociology and Anthropology, University of Limpopo, South Africa
                Author notes
                Corresponding author: Shingirai Mugambiwa, mugambiwashingirai@ 123456gmail.com
                Journal
                Jamba
                JAMBA
                Jàmbá : Journal of Disaster Risk Studies
                AOSIS
                2072-845X
                1996-1421
                12 April 2018
                2018
                : 10
                : 1
                JAMBA-10-388
                10.4102/jamba.v10i1.388
                6014056
                © 2018. The Authors

                Licensee: AOSIS. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution License.

                Categories
                Original Research

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