Nwadjahane village_ Gaza Province_ Mozambique learning to adapt

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					 Nwadjahane village, Gaza                                                                                 No. 8

  Province, Mozambique:
                                                    ADAPTIVE Research Notes
   learning to adapt to
   change and extreme
      weather events                            ADAPTIVE, Adaptation to climate change
                                                      in vulnerable environments.
Key points:                                          A Tyndall Centre for Climate
• Livelihood adaptations to drought,                Change research project at the
   flooding and storms, as well as complex           University of Sheffield, UK.
   political and social change, are diverse
   and flexible
• People use rapid coping and longer-term     This research note provides a summary of the
   strategies to respond to events and        preliminary findings from research carried out in
   changes                                    southern Mozambique by the ADAPTIVE project.
• Adaptations are focused on building         ADAPTIVE is a collaborative research project funded
   social capital and agency, developing      by the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research.
   informal institutions and traditional      Research was carried out during July 2003 with
   exchange practices, and focusing on        assistance from Save the Children USA. Community
   business opportunities                     workshops,    focus  groups,   thirty-one   detailed
• Lowland areas are increasingly              interviews, and semi-structured questionnaires were
   attractive for vegetable gardening but     completed with a sample of the population. Research
   are at risk of flooding. They are          was discussed with both government and traditional
   accessed through the formation of          authorities.

                                              Ploughing in lowland fields is more productive but at risk from

                                              Livelihoods in Nwadjahane village
                                              Nwadjahane is within the district of Manjacaze, and has
 Research areas:
                                              a special place in history, being the home of the first
 1 Lehurutshe District (NorthWest/South       post-independence (1975) president of Mozambique
 Africa)                                      (Eduardo Mondlane). The village has a population of 601
 2 Dzanani District (Limpopo/South Africa)    people, mainly Shangaan, and there are 175 households
 3 Uthukela District (KwaZulu Natal/South     (area 4). The majority of these people practice
 Africa)                                      subsistence farming focused on livestock breeding and
 4 Manjacaze District (Gaza/Mozambique)       rainfed agriculture with some irrigated land.
The average household size was 7.3 people,                  spells, late rains, e.g. drought of 1983 and in
the ratio of men to women 0.90, and the                     2003 late rains destroyed crops, grazing quality
population density of the village region is                 and livestock
approx. 45 persons per km².                             •   Risk of flooding (ndhambhi) (e.g. in 1977 and
                                                            2000, which damaged crops, reduced available
There are two seasons in the agricultural
                                                            land, caused a loss of migrants’ jobs
year: the hot season (nguva ya timpfula) and
                                                        •   Risk of storms e.g. in 2001 a tropical storm
the cold season (nguya ya xiwomiso). People
                                                            caused extensive damage to houses, trees and
farm areas of highland (sandy soils) and
lowland (fertile loams). Staple crops are
maize, rice, potatoes, groundnuts and                Key social history factors in the region are:
cassava. Vegetable gardening and the use of             • Portuguese colonialism (forced labour and lack of
fruits and nuts are important. The area                     rights to access land) weakened coping systems
around the village is wooded. Although people           • Post-1975 brought independence and a socialist
are dependent on natural resources, there is                ideology (the introduction of communes)
a history of migration for work, especially to          • Civil war (nyimpi) (1983-1992) fighting between
Maputo and to South Africa. Nwadjahane is                   Frelimo and Remano factions caused widespread
18km from Mandlakazi (nearest town) and                     population displacement, fear and uncertainty,
90km from Xai-Xai, the provincial capital.                  the theft of assets, loss of family members
                                                        • Post 1994 democracy - high debt repayment,
                                                            restructuring of agricultural sectors, low formal
                                                            investments in health, education, welfare and
                                                            infrastructure, continued poverty, HIV/AIDS,
                                                            female headed households and the elderly remain

                                                     What are people’s strategies in response to
                                                     disturbance and change?
                                                     It is important to explore differences in the rate of
                                                     response. There are similar short-term or rapid coping
                                                     responses to all the livelihood disturbances that are
                                                     shock events or moments of personal difficulty. The
                                                     most common responses in Nwadjahane are:
                                                         • Population movement and grouping together for
Planting cassava, groundnuts and maize on highland       • Reliance on family and friends to provide
We      sought   to     understand   people’s                assistance (kurhimela – work sought for
perceptions of change, the associated                        cash/gifts in-kind, ganho-ganho – work for cash,
impacts on rural livelihoods and the relative                money from relatives working away)
risk of these factors.                                   • Travel away from the village to: exchange goods
                                                             (kuthekela) or stay with relatives and friends
What factors are triggering a need                       • Selling of assets, especially pigs and chickens
to change and adapt?                                     • Eating wild plants, wildlife and birds

Environmental and historical factors are the         More persistent disturbances and change appear to
main categories of adaptive triggers.                trigger adaptations in livelihoods. These adaptations
Environmental factors (in order of perceived         may have important lessons for dealing with future
importance):                                         climate changes. Those identified at Nwadjahane are
    • Risk of drought (djjandza),                    described overleaf.
         unpredictable rainy season, mini dry-
1   Building social capital and agency:               developed, through access to additional assets, in
•   People are reviving historically favourable       particular labour, cash, knowledge or materials:
    ideas of associations (ideally to share       •   labour shortages are increasingly overcome by using
    costs, information, profit responsibility)        tsima (work parties) exploitation of the non-cash
    but it is a response to the desire to farm        exchange system by those with labour to acquire
    the lowland which is seen as more                 stock such as pigs and chickens (buffer to shocks)
    productive, especially during drought.        •   cash is increasingly the socially acceptable payment
    Group projects can gain access to the             for ploughing
    lowland more easily than individuals.         •   loss of valuable cattle before 1992 replaced using
    However, given a choice, people prefer to         kuvekala (looking after animals for others in order
    work their own land, not borrowed land;           to receive second born)
•   Forming association is especially
                                                  4   There are many responses within farming:
    important for the poor, who have fewer
    lowland fields;                               •   individual experimentation with short maturing and
•   Increased interest in local authority             resistant varieties of maize and rice;
    responsibility, building on people’s high     •   increase in cassava planted on highland; increase
    political awareness (a more educated              in vegetable production to increase food security
    village chief who could speak Portuguese          (focused on lowland areas but prone to flooding);
    was voted in), with the result that           •   planting and nurturing trees as a valuable source of
    stronger links have been forged between           income and food;
    local leadership and district                 •   and using natural landscape diversity (lowland and
    authorities/aid organisations –                   highland fields) depending on the rains.
    communities expect to use these links
    during a crisis, in the absence of formal     Focusing on responses to climate
    government support;                           Whilst identifying triggering factors for each response
•   Increasing reliance on external links e.g.    strategy is complicated, due to the interrelationships
    women’s groups drew on their traditional      between impacts of different factors, it is important to
    networks to other villages after the          try to identify specific responses to climate related
    2000 flooding to form agricultural groups     events. The community diagrams overleaf highlight those
    and reduce vulnerability; poverty still       actions taken in response to drought and flooding.
    drives young men in migration to Maputo
    and South Africa looking for employment.      Capacity strength: what is driving dynamic
2   Developing a business focus within            responses?
    the livelihood:                                   •   High livelihood diversity: flexibility in the choice
•   Increased specialisation of traditional               of investment priorities into certain activities
    skills to prevent market saturation and           •   Strong agency: strength and respect of
    build basis for exchange of services                  traditional authorities and their role in
    (construction of stronger houses, fishing,            organising the community, educated individuals
    animal breeding, gardening, animal                    recognising their ability to disseminate
    traction, craftwork, traditional                      information and encourage responsibility,
    healthcare and petty trade). The highest              inclusive role of community meeting encourages
    livestock ownership is in chickens (87%)              participation and builds trust, history of
    with an average of 5 chickens per                     population displacement now beneficial as
    household, although some have over 15.                individuals can have spatial family network to
    There are aspirations towards a local                 exploit. Larger households enter exchange
    market culture to build resilience.                   systems or can seek work without damaging
3   Evolving particular types of cultural                 labour supply (those with more women chose local
    exchange practices that allow                         non-cash exchange while those with more men
    profitable livelihood components to be                chose sale outside village and migration for cash)
   •   Level of social capital: strong
       ‘community-focused’ ideology with a
       shared sense of the past that
       continues to encourage community
       spirit and cooperation (making it
       socially unacceptable to not
       participate), strong rules within the
       non-cash economy, increasing
       information exchange via associations

Constraints to successful response

Internal to village
   •   Expectance of Aid Relief from NGOs
       by older members of the community
   •   Confusion between aid providers
   •   Occasional petty theft
   •   Poverty resulting in an inability to
       provide initial start-up capital, even
       as groups, for sustainable projects
   •   Lack of formal structures and
       support from government
   •   Poor infrastructure (water, roads,
   •   Environmental impacts of climate
       change events, particularly water
       shortages, water pollution, poor
       quality rangeland during drought,
       leaching of nutrients during flooding
   •   Labour constraints and pervasive
       health issues
   •   Difficult to access information from
       ‘experts’ and lack of training                Above: Community Problem Trees for drought and flooding
   •   Difficult to access larger markets
                                                ADAPTIVE – funded by the Tyndall Centre, UK and conducted by
       and poor prices fetched at market
                                                researchers at the University of Sheffield, UK and the Tyndall Centre,
       (no incentive for cash cropping and      and in collaboration with Oxfam GB, Potchefstroom University, the
       can lead to failure in small-scale       Department of Agriculture and Nzuki Development Association in
       farming projects)                        South Africa, and Save the Children USA in Mozambique.

   •   Poor health service and information      The ADAPTIVE website is
Further information on the process of           Staff can be contacted by email at
adaptation, discussing generic mechanisms       d.s.thomas@sheffield.ac.uk
by comparing the study locations is             h.osbahr@sheffield.ac.uk
available in Research Note 9. Detailed          n.adger@uea.ac.uk
reports and papers will be available from       Fax: +44 114 279 7912
the website shortly.                            ADAPTIVE Research Note 8, October 2003