Key findings from Tanzania NCAP Project

Submitted by Sukaina Bharwani | published 25th Mar 2011 | last updated 30th Mar 2011

A great deal of information was gained through the Tanzania NCAP programme. Detailed results from the two different programmes are given below:

Results from Rufiji

Results from Kilimanjaro

Overall conclusions

When considering adaptation options it is important to differentiate between genuine adaptive measures and an expansion in coping mechanisms that are already prevalent. Coping mechanisms occur within existing institutional and power arrangements, whereas adaptation often involves modification of the structures in which the transformation of livelihood takes place. As the most vulnerable groups are generally those with relatively low levels of capital assets, and also affected more by shocks, trends and seasonal factors, they would presumably be the people who would benefit most from successful adaptation measures. However, if they are also the groups who possess the least levels of political capital then what options exist other than an expansion of their existing coping mechanisms? Without the ability to access and change institutional structures that have a bearing on their own livelihood construction, adaptation remains a concept that can only be imposed through top-down, external structures. The focus should be on enhancing the resilience of vulnerable societies, through disaster risk reduction and capacity building approaches.

This could enable a level of preparedness and response to biophysical hazards that is currently not achievable. As for existing adaptation routes, the strong message that comes from both the Rufiji and Kilimanjaro fieldwork is that access to work, usually in urban areas, is what keeps these rural livelihood systems resilient. Under conditions of climate change, there is an urban solution to the problem of rural risk.