Memories of environmental change and local adaptations among molapo farming communities in the Okavango Delta, Botswana—A gender perspective

Type

Journal Article

Author(s)

Ngwenya, B. N.
Thakadu, O. T.
Magole, L.
Chimbari, M. J.

Title

Memories of environmental change and local adaptations among molapo farming communities in the Okavango Delta, Botswana—A gender perspective

Year

2016

Journal

Acta Tropica

Abstract

This paper focuses on ways in which three riparian communities (Xobe, Shorobe and Tubu) practising flood recession (molapo) farming along the fringes of the Okavango Delta in Ngamiland District in north-western Botswana, present memories of experiential impacts of and adaptation to key environmental and anthropogenic change events. Participatory methodological tools were used to capture local knowledge of people who had resided in the Okavango wetlands for many years. Findings indicate that key environmental change events were characterized by intergenerational experiences of severe and frequent droughts, floods, and recurrent outbreaks of human and animal disease. These events had impacted livelihoods and well-being of communities. Community adaptation strategies were embedded in local institutions of governance, especially chieftainship and the Kgotla, as legitimate platforms for community re-organization against unpredictable environmental change. We concluded that policy/program formulation processes need to take cognisance of local communities’ historical knowledge of environmental change and adaptation. In particular it emerged that men and women, and people of different ages have differentiated memories of historical events which are complementary and necessary in developing a comprehensive adaptation strategy.

Citation

Ngwenya, B. N., et al. (2016). “Memories of environmental change and local adaptations among molapo farming communities in the Okavango Delta, Botswana—A gender perspective.” Acta Tropica. URL : http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0001706X16309834

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