Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN) Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN)

Factors Affecting Household Vulnerability to Climate Change in the Lowveld of Swaziland, August 2014
19 August 2015
Majahodvwa Nkonde, Micah B. Masuku and Absalom M. Manyatsi

Climate change and livelihood According to literature in Africa by 2020, between 75 and 250 million people will be exposed to increased water stress due to climate change. In some countries yields from rain-fed agriculture could be reduced by up to 50%. Agricultural production including access to food in many African countries will be severely compromised and this would further adversely affect food security and exacerbate malnutrition. Under climate change much agricultural land will be lost, with shorter growing seasons and lower yields. Future climate variability and change will also interact with other stresses and vulnerabilities such as HIV/AIDS resulting in increased susceptibility and risk to infectious diseases such as cholera and diarrhoea and malnutrition for adults and children.

Over the years Swaziland, has suffered from many climate change impacts such as droughts, change in rainfall patterns and increasing temperatures. For instance, in 1984, there was Cyclone Domonia which affected more than 400 000 people (40% of the population) and caused damage worth US $54 million. Houses and fields were flooded and washed away and a number of people drowned. Infrastructure such as roads, electricity and telephone lines were damaged. In January 2000, the country was severely affected by torrential rains that led to flooding with an estimated 21% of the population affected.

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