The Rain Doesn't Come On Time Anymore: Poverty, vulnerability, and climate variability in Ethiopia | Rain

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Climate variability in Ethiopia is not new - but now, in addition to the usual struggles, Ethiopians living in poverty are additionally suffering the effects of climate change - both more variable climate and more extreme weather events. People who are already poor and marginalized are struggling with the added burden of climate variability. For now, this means that the little that they have goes to dealing with the current unpredictable weather because their livelihoods are so dependent on it. When selling off assets becomes a mean to cope, there is little left to plan for the future. Thus, communities are faced with simultaneously increasing climate variability, and with it increasing risk and vulnerability. In 2009, Oxfam commissioned research on climate variability in four administrative areas in Ethiopia. The research set out to answer three fundamental questions: Do Ethiopian farmers and pastoralists perceive changes in weather patterns? If so, what are they? What meteorological information is available in the four study areas? How have farmers and pastoralists been coping with and adapting to these changes in weather patterns? What policy recommendations emerge from these specific case studies that will increase the resilience of poor men and women in Ethiopia? These questions are especially important to explore in Ethiopia because it is one of the poorest countries in the world, where 85 percent of the population depends on agriculture.
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  The rain doesn’t come on time anymore poverty, vulnerability, and climate variability in Ethiopia EMBARGOED UNTIL 00:01 HRS GMT THURSDAY 22 APRIL 201022 April, 2010  Acknowledgment Oxfam acknowledges that this paper is based on commissioned research conducted by B&M Development Consultants PLC. Oxfam also acknowledges the assistance of Jules Siedenburg, Dr. Chris Funk and his team at the University of California, Santa Barbara, Tigist Gizaw, Selome Kebede, Gebru Jember Endalew, Cindy Phoel, and Jessica Erickson in its production.© Oxfam International April 2010This paper was written by Senait Regassa, Christina Givey, and Gina E. Castillo with contributions from John Magrath and Kimberly Pfeifer. It is part of a series of research reports written to inform the public debate on development and humanitarian policy issues.The text may be used free of charge for the purposes of advocacy, campaigning, education, and research, provided that the source is acknowledged in full. The copyright holder requests that all such use be registered with them for impact assessment purposes. For copying in any other circumstances, or for re-use in other publications, or for translation or adaptation, permission must be secured and a fee may be charged. E-mailpublish@oxfam.org.uk.For further information on the issues raised in this paper please e-mail advocacy@oxfaminternational.org. The information in this publication is correct at the time of going to press. Disclaimer  The views expressed in the text and its recommendations are those of the authors. The authors take responsibility for any errors herein.Front cover picture: Selome KebedeBack cover picture: Zersenay Berhane MehariPrinted by Eclipse, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia  The Rain Doesn’t Come on Time Anymore:  Poverty, Vulnerability, and Climate Variability in Ethiopia Oxfam International Research Report, April 2010 3 Contents Executive Summary.............................................................................................................................41 Introduction .......................................................................................................................................102 Context .............................................................................................................................................142.1 Ethiopia and Climate Change ...................................................................................................142.2 Ethiopia’s Variable Climate ........................................................................................................15Temperature ..............................................................................................................................16Rainfall ......................................................................................................................................163. Perceptions of Changing Weather Patterns and Coping Mechanisms: Analyzing Four Woredas .193.1 Highland Mixed Farming Area—Ofla Woreda ...........................................................................19Context .....................................................................................................................................19Impact of Climate Variability ......................................................................................................20Ways of Dealing with Climate Variability ...................................................................................223.2 Rift Valley Mixed Farming Area— Adamii Tulluu-Jido Kombolcha Woreda ..............................23Context ......................................................................................................................................23Impact of Climate Variability ......................................................................................................25Ways of Dealing with Climate Variability ..................................................................................273.3 Pastoral and Agro-Pastoral Area—Yabello Woreda ..................................................................28Context ......................................................................................................................................28Impact of Climate Variability .....................................................................................................29Ways of Dealing with Climate Variability ..................................................................................313.4 Coffee Growing Area—Wansho Woreda .................................................................................33Context ......................................................................................................................................33Impact of Climate Variability ......................................................................................................34Ways of Dealing with Climate Variability ..................................................................................364. Emerging Lessons from the Four Study Sites .................................................................................375. Key Recommendations ...................................................................................................................40 At the National Level ................................................................................................................40 At the Community Level ...........................................................................................................41In Particular, for Pastoralist Communities .................................................................................41References .........................................................................................................................................43
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