American Journal of Environmental Sciences

Local Climate Trends and Farmers’ Perceptions in Southern Tigray, Northern Ethiopia

M. G. Abrha and S. Simhadri

DOI : 10.3844/ajessp.2015.262.277

American Journal of Environmental Sciences

Volume 11, Issue 4

Pages 262-277

Abstract

This study aimed to investigate changes in local climate, farmers’ perception to the change and factors affecting perception of farmers to climate change. For trend analysis, we gathered station based rainfall records for the period 1978-2012, while for perception analysis survey was carried out. 600 farming households were randomly selected from four districts using a multi-stage sampling method. Nonparametric analysis was used for analyzing trends and testing significance. Farming households were asked their observation about changes in local climate using structured questionnaires. We also utilized logistic regression to identify factors that influenced perceptions of farming households on climate change. Results indicate that while annual rainfall showed no change across the region, Kiremt and Belg rainfalls exhibited significant increasing and decreasing trends in the last three decades respectively. The study confirmed that the change in rainfall trend varies by agro-ecology. Kiremt rainfall in the lowlands increased by about 106 mm/decade; yet, highlands got non-significant change. Besides, when the highlands lost significant amount of Belg rainfall (35 mm/d), lowlands didn’t show any significant reduction. As to perception, about 87 and 50% of respondents perceived Belg and Kiremt rainfall decreasing respectively where their observation was more or less consistent with statistical findings. This study learned that gender, education, farm experience, extension, climate information, economic status, drought experience and local agro-ecology positively influenced farmers’ perception. Yet, irrigation negatively affected farmers’ perception. Results suggest further works in the areas of information dissemination, inclusion of local knowledge in adaptation programs and irrigation developments to reduce impacts.

Copyright

© 2015 M. G. Abrha and S. Simhadri. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.