Vulnerability of Smallholder Farmers to Climate Related Shocks in Kinakomba Ward, Tana River County, Kenya

Peter Ndegwa, Annie H. Ong’ayo, Andrew W. Wamukota


According to IPCC, (2007) Vulnerability is the degree to which a system is susceptible to, and unable to cope with, adverse effects of climate change, including climate variability and extremes. It is a function of exposure, sensitivity, and adaptive capacity (Marshall et al. 2010; Wongbusarakum and Loper 2011, Mucke 2012). The study sought to determine the vulnerability to climate related shocks among smallholder farmers in Kinakomba Ward. The main purpose of the study was to assess the extent to which, exposure, sensitivity and adaptive capacity contributed to the vulnerability of the smallholder farmers on their livelihoods. The study was carried out in Kinakomba ward in Tana River County, Kenya. A descriptive survey research design was used. Stratified random sampling was employed to select 390 out of a population of 3,908 households. Data was collected using questionnaires and Focus Group Discussions. Descriptive statistics, metric of sensitivity, composite index was used to analyse sensitivity. Two methods were used to analyse exposure. Firstly the fuzzy logic in assessing susceptibility to drought involving a selection of input variables, Fuzzification, inference modelling and defuzzification and secondly DrinC Model software. The researcher used two methods to analyse adaptive capacity namely the interview with 390 farming households to gather data on farming and household characteristics and natural resources availability and secondly a panel of 15 Key Informants provided ratings of indicators of adaptive capacity using analytic hierarchy process (AHP). To understand the interaction of these variables this study Analysed a quantitative Vulnerability score by using an equation which  combined three contributing indices of exposure, sensitivity and adaptive capacity each normalized to 0–1 Scale (Adger and Vincent, 2005;Allison et al. 2009), the vulnerability score was obtained by adding exposure to sensitivity and subtracting the adaptive capacity. The key results from the study showed that exposure (p=0.000066) and sensitivity (P=0.00038) had a significant effect on livelihoods. These factors were also found to have a negative influence on livelihoods in the area. Further statistical findings showed that as adaptive capacity increased vulnerability decreased while when sensitivity increased vulnerability increased at the same time. The study concluded that these two dimensions of vulnerability could be modified by policy and development. The study also concluded that exposure contributed more than sensitivity and adaptive capacity to the cumulative vulnerability. The study recommended that the County and National governments and stakeholders to employ measures to adapt to climate change and variability. This study also recommended that the Government in partnership with other stakeholders develop a comprehensive disaster risk management framework to address the drought hazards and undertake mitigation and adaptation measures by equipping the smallholder farmers with knowledge on how to cope with the cyclic and vicious droughts’ impacts that have led to serious irreversible harm to humans and livestock in the area. Also that the Government in partnership with stakeholders develops interventions of adaptation options and empowerment of farmers with skills in diversification of livelihoods options.

Keywords: Vulnerability, Sensitivity, Exposure, Adaptive Capacity, Fuzzification, DrinC Model software, Analytic hierarchy process (AHP)

DOI: 10.7176/FSQM/95-09

Publication date:March 31st 2020

Full Text: PDF
Download the IISTE publication guideline!

To list your conference here. Please contact the administrator of this platform.

Paper submission email:

ISSN (Paper)2224-6088 ISSN (Online)2225-0557

Please add our address "" into your email contact list.

This journal follows ISO 9001 management standard and licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Copyright ©