Perceived and measured climate variability and change in semi-arid environments in Tanzania: experiences from Iramba and Meatu Districts


This paper combines farmers’ perceptions of climate variability and change and meteorological data trends to generate empirical evidence to broaden an understanding of the phenomena. The results show an agreement on changing rainfall patterns. Bad years described by drought frequencies, temperature, and dry spell have increased since the 1970s. Crop growing period has decreased by one month in Meatu and by more than a month in Iramba. As hypothesised, the Mann-Whitney U test shows similar men and women’s perceptions at 5% level of significance (P value = 0.701). Similarly, the Kruskal-Wallis H test indicates that the poor, not so poor and the rich have the same perceptions (P value = 0.281). These results have implications on crop and livestock production systems and on livelihoods more generally. We conclude that climate variability and change manifestations overlap, making it a complex phenomena perceived equally by men, women, the poor and non-poor. This is understood holistically by combining farmers’ perceptions and meteorological data trends to inform adaptation strategies related decision making


International Journal of Environment and Sustainable Development, 2017; 16 (1)


Farmers, Perceptions, Meteorological data, Climate variability, Agro-pastoralism