Inland Aquaculture and Resilience in Semi-Arid Spaces: The Case of Mukoma Village in Mt Darwin District, Zimbabwe
Isabel Mupfurutsa1, Anyway Katanha2, Douglas Manyengavana1
1Zimbabwe Open University, Geography and Environmental Science Dept., Zimbabwe
Rural poor who reside in semi-arid regions of sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) are documented to be amongst the most affected by climate change, especially if they depend on rain-fed agriculture only. However, many of these rural farmers have been able, based on their available eco-resources, to diversify farming activities. Though given less attention, important inland fisheries are practiced in different semi-arid regions of the world. Seasonal small scale aquaculture is practiced by some villagers in the semi-arid region of northern Zimbabwe and contributes to their nutrition and food security. This study looked at the complex geographies of small scale aquaculture and investigated how aquaculture based livelihoods adjusted to climatic changes. Secondary sources, field observations, semi-structured interviews (n= 62) and focus group discussions (n=10) were used to solicit data in Mukoma village (North Zimbabwe) between January 2017 and May 2017. Analysis of collected data was done qualitatively through establishment of categories, themes and relations. The study revealed that small scale fisheries are important to assure livelihood of the rural poor, to compensate the often low yields of their rain fed agriculture. Evidence from the study suggest that small scale fishers in this semi arid space respond to climate change by enhancing teamwork and stewardship actions which suggest high adaptive capacity. Results suggest a sound potential for local stewardship, institutions and human activity in semi-arid small-scale fishing communes in the face of climate change. However, the overall adaptive capacity of the Mukoma community to the climate change effects is rather low and the fishers in particular are very susceptible to the climate change effects. The study argues that in order to sustain this small scale fishery activity, which has an important economic, nutritional and social function, a planned pro-poor adaptation strategy at different scales (from local to regional) has to be developed.
Keywords: Adaptation, aquaculture, climate change, fisheries, livelihoods, vulnerability
Contact Address: Anyway Katanha, University of Witwatersrand, Dept. of Geography, Archaeology and Environmental Studies, 1 Jan Smuts Avenue Braamfontein 2000, Johannesburg, South Africa, e-mail: 1094817students.wits.ac.za