The Perception of Rural Households on Climate Change Effect on Rural Livelihoods in Lake Victoria Basin

  • Evans Odhiambo Wabwire Catholic University of Eastern Africa
Keywords: Climate change, climate variability, Livelihoods, Lake Victoria Basin


While the science of climate change is well investigated across most disciplines, people’s perception
of climate change effects has not been well addressed. This paper sought to address the question of
climate change perception and the effect of climate change on rural household livelihoods within the
Lake Victoria Basin of Kenya. The study relied on households’ perception of effect of climate change
on the areas of agriculture, and food security, water, and energy supply. Multistage sampling was
applied to select 539 households from four eco-ecological zones. The study revealed that most
households presented localized explanations of climate change, which included: frequent and
prolonged droughts, variations in rainfall onset and cessation, increased temperatures, an increased
strong wind episode. Some households perceived climate changes effects resulted into a decrease in
crop yield, resulting in increased household food insecurity, while some perceived water stress at
household level, but mainly for those who relied on surface water, well water, borehole, and the
natural spring. In addition, some of the households perceived shortage in energy sources, particularly
hydroelectric power was said to be sensitive to the changes in climate. These perceptions were based
on households’ experiences, and partially the results were found to be consistent with physical
science of climate change. The paper therefore recommends the need to harmonise household
perception with the climate change policy in order to address emerging challenges of climate change
at the local level, create more climate change awareness supported through a comprehensive climate
change action plan on country’s preparedness of extreme climate events at household level.

Author Biography

Evans Odhiambo Wabwire , Catholic University of Eastern Africa

Department of Humanities