Community Perception on Environment, Health and Socio-Economic Impact of Climate Change in Arbaminch Town South Ethiopia
Dire Dawa Environment and Forest Research Center, Dire Dawa, Ethiopia
Submission: November 5, 2019; Published: December 02, 2019
*Corresponding author: Habtamu Abebe, Dire Dawa Environment and Forest Research Center, Dire Dawa, Ethiopia
How to cite this article:Habtamu Abebe. Community Perception on Environment, Health and Socio-Economic Impact of Climate Change in Arbaminch Town South Ethiopia. JOJ Pub Health. 2019; 5(3): 555664. DOI DOI: 10.19080/JOJPH.2019.06.555664
Climate change has been disrupting the lives of households’ in Arbaminch town which is the most devastating environmental, economic, social and health threats in the current century. This paper has aim to organize the effect of climate change in social, economic environmental and health of households in Arbaminch town southern Ethiopia. Primary data was collected via survey research strategy through structured questionnaire. A cross-sectional survey was conducted in Arbaminch town. A pre-tested questionnaire was used in data collection to evaluate group differences for dichotomous variables. Logistic regression and chi-square test was also used to determine the strength of the association between factors. The survey result shows that 73.2%,72%,59.1% of respondents perceived shortage of rainfall, drought, water and air pollution and unexpected rainfall are climate change related environmental impact in the town. The study result indicates that respondent’s perception about climate change impact on social life (conflict) is significant association with occupation x2 =37.3, p < 0.001, and education level x2=17.1, p=0.002 at the 5 % significant level. The logistic regression model indicated that the respondents increasing level of education and occupation is significant relation with climate change impact on economy p =0.005 and p = 0.1, Negelkerk R2 =0.192.due to climate change human and livestock death is high in the town. Therefore, policies and intervention programs aimed at establishing interventions to reduce climate change related impact by providing different alternatives.
Climatic change is not new to our planet. Over the last few billion years the earth has witnessed tropical forests spread across entire continents, dinosaurs roam the landscape, ice sheets covering most of the Northern Hemisphere, and sea levels decrease by 100 meters. These processes are part of the planet’s natural climatic variability. Unfortunately, many ecosystems and organisms suffer as these changes take place, while others thrive in the new environment . Over the last 450,000 years, the earth has gone through several ice ages (global cooling) followed by warming periods (global warming) . These climatic changes have shaped the ecosystems that we see today. Animals and plants that live on the earth at present have evolved over a long period of time under pressures from their surrounding environment. While climates and habitats have always changed, the problem today for these organisms is that the changes are occurring faster than ever . Africa is particularly vulnerable to climate change and climate variability. This vulnerability has been attributed to the continent’s high poverty levels, low adaptive capacity, its dependence on rain-fed agriculture as well as its limited economic and institutional capacity . Kofi Annan in his opening address to the said that “climate change is
happening, and it is happening now. We can no longer consider it as a threat that is yet to hit us; all over the world we see its impact) .
Developing countries in general and least developed countries like Ethiopia in particular are more vulnerable to the adverse impacts of climate variability and change. This is due to their low adaptive capacity and high sensitivity of their socio-economic systems to climate variability and change . Severe weather events such as droughts and floods have historically imposed heavy costs in Ethiopia the projected impacts of climate change may affect the consequences of these events and could potentially hinder advancements in key development areas such as food security, water resources management, health, and economic growth.
Climate related hazards in Ethiopia include drought, floods, heavy rains, strong winds, frost, heat waves (high temperatures), etc. Causes for vulnerability of Ethiopia to climate variability and change include very high dependence on rain fed agriculture which is very sensitive to climate variability and change, under-development of water resources, low health service coverage, high population growth rate, low economic development level, low adaptive capacity, inadequate road infrastructure in
drought prone areas, weak institutions, lack of awareness .
These climate related hazards results environmental, social and
economic impacts in the world particularly in the developing
countries including Ethiopia. For example, economic sectors that
largely depend on weather conditions either directly or indirectly
most notably agriculture and fisheries are increasingly subject
to the impacts of climate change . The main objectives of the
study therefore, were to identify climate change impact and
the adaptation options practiced in Arbaminch town southern
Region of Ethiopia
The study area is located approximately between 370 28′
54′′E to 370 36′ 45′′E and 50 55′16′′N to 60 05′ 14′′N in South
Nations, Nationalities, and peoples’ Regional State (SNNPRS).
It is located about 500km away from Addis Ababa, the capital
city of Ethiopia. The study site is bordered with Lake Abaya in
the East, Lake Chamo in South-East and the ridge of the Great
African Rift in the West. It is also bounded in between River
Sile in South and River Harre in North. River Kulfo crosses the
town at the northern side and flow South-East direction into
Lake Chamo. The Great East African Rift Valley and the two lakes
basins (Abaya and Chamo) are dominant physical features of
the study area. The elevation varies from 1108m at Lake Chamo
up to 1800m above sea level on Genta-Zigiti Ridge. The agroclimatic
zone of the study area is characterized by dry Kola with
its average annual temperature of 280C and 895mm of average
annual rainfall. The major economic activity in the town is trade.
Tropical fruit plantations and cotton production, reliant on
irrigation from the nearby lakes and rivers are also common in
the region. Traditional fishing is also a major livelihood of the
Arba Minch residents (Figure 1).
A quantitative cross-sectional study design has been used
in this research. A quantitative research is generally associated
with the positivist/post positivist paradigm. It usually involves
collecting and converting data into numerical form so that
statistical calculations can be made, and conclusions drawn. In
quantitative research a hypothesis which predicts relationships
and associations between the things to be investigating
(variables) should be conducted. Based on this approach we
have developed a hypothesis regarding the association between
demographic characteristics with the perception of residents.
The study was conducted from November-December 2016.
All households at Arbaminch were the source population of
this study. The study populations were all selected households
included in those kebeles which were purposely selected as
areas where urban agricultural practice was common.
The study followed multistage sampling procedures with
respondents as the ultimate sampling unit to acquire primary
data. From the total number of kebeles, three kebeles which
practice urban agriculture were selected using purposive
sampling. The sample size for the households’/respondent’s survey was determined using single proportion formula
(Kothari,2004). The following formula was used to determine
the size of the sample.
Where n = desired sample size when target population
is less than 10,000; N= total number of households in three
kebeles, z = Value of standard variation, e= Acceptable error,
p= the proportion of the target population estimated to have
characteristics being measured (50% is taken or 0.5), d= level of
statistical significance, and q= 1-p.Then p= 0.5, q = 0.5 considering
95% level of confidence, the related standard normal deviate is
z= 1.82 and the desired accuracy is at 0.07 level.
Primary data at the household level was collected through
a household survey using structured questionnaire. Primary
data was collected through questionnaires containing close
ended questions. After preparing the questionnaires in English
language, it was translated into the local language Amharic.
A pre- test was collected in other kebeles before the actual
data collection was conducted. The investigator checked the
collected pre-test data to maintain its accuracy, completeness,
clarity and consistency. Any error, related to clarity, ambiguity,
incompleteness, or misunderstanding were solved before
beginning actual data collection activities. To make the subjects
respond freely, the data collection process was conducted
confidentially, and the duration of data collection was as short
The collected data were coded and entered using Statistical
Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) software version 20.0. Data
were cleaned accordingly for further analysis. The frequency
distribution of dependent and independent variables was
computed. Descriptive statistics including frequency and
percentage were calculated and presented in tables, graphs and
charts. The Chi-square test of independence was used to evaluate
group differences for dichotomous variables .Logistic regression
was also used to determine the strength of the association
between factors, in this study, for example, if age group could
be used to predict the awareness of the respondents regarding
climate change (1 = ‘‘Yes’’, 0 = ‘‘No’’).
Demographic characteristics of respondents:
Demographic data provides the readers with a picture of
the demographic and socio-economic composition of the
respondents (Table 1). Accordingly, demographic data in this
study comprises age, gender, educational status, occupation and
monthly income level of the sample households in the town. The
demographic and socio-economic characteristic of the sample
households is described in (Table 2). Most of the respondents
were males 105 (64%) and the rest 59 (36%) were females.
Among the total respondents 59 (35%) of the respondents
had no education, while 31(18.9%) and 44 (26.8%) attained
primary and secondary education respectively. The mean age
of respondents in the study was found to be 30.29 years with
standard deviation of .917; the younger age of the respondent
was 18 whereas the older age is 64 years. 11.6% and 9.1% of they
obtained college diploma and degree. Regarding the occupation
category as illustrated in (Table 2) that majority of respondents
were Merchant (31%) followed by farmers (29.3%). Government
employees consisted only 18.3% the rest 20.7% of them were
engaged in other activities.
Environmental impact of climate change in the town:
As a result of increased population Environmental problem
is widely recognized as a major Climate Hazard and a key
development and Environmental challenges in the town. As
indicated in (Figure 2,3) below over 73% of respondents
believed that major climate change related Environmental
problem in the town is Shortage of rainfall. 72 % of respondents
felt Drought and water or Air Pollution as Climate change related
environmental problem in the town.59.1%, 36.6%, 34.1% and
28.7% of respondent’s mentioned Un expected rainfall, Seasonal
Fluctuation of rainfall, Land degradation and Heat wave as major
Climate Change related Environmental challenge in the town.
Most of the respondents were males 105 (64%) and the rest 59
(36%) were females. Among the total respondents 59 (35%)
of the respondents had no education, while 31(18.9%) and 44
(26.8%) attained primary and secondary education respectively.
The mean age of respondents in the study was found to be 30.29
years with standard deviation of 917; the younger age of the
respondent was 18 whereas the older age is 64 years. 11.6% and
9.1% of they obtained college diploma and degree. Regarding
the occupation category as illustrated in (Table 2) that majority
of respondents were Merchant (31%) followed by farmers
(29.3%). Government employees consisted only 18.3% the rest
20.7% of them were engaged in other activities.
Climate Change has negative Impact on physical, financial
and Natural asset of communities. The descriptive statistics
of the study revealed in (Figure 4) that the majority 98.2%
of respondents responded that due to climate change food
price is raised and had high impact on the economy of the
community.86% of respondents perceived that due to climate
change they have paying for either for construction of ditches,
construction of Embankment and dislocating out of flood area.
70.7%, 54.3% and 29.3% of respondents perceived that climate
change lead to water cost, Health cost and cost for lost crop. Due
to aggregate economic impact of climate change drought persists
human and livestock death toll increases compounded by poor
sanitation and deteriorating natural environment. In many
parts of the town, the effects of drought on ecosystems have
begun to compromise the traditional livelihoods and lifestyles of
indigenous peoples who depend on them.
The increased drought risks to agriculture, property,
infrastructure, and ecosystems are likely to have negative effects
on health by impeding access to safe water and sufficient food
in the town. Regarding perception of respondents on social
impact of climate change The result of a Chi-square test of
independence suggested a significant association between
respondents occupation and awareness about climate change
related conflict X2= 37.3, p <0.001 and education level with
awareness about climate change related conflict X2= 17.1, p =
0.002 were statistically significant at 5 % level of significance
The result of a Chi-square test of independence suggested a
significant association between respondents occupation and
climate change related inter group tension X2= 36.1, p <0.001
and education level with awareness about climate change
related inter group tension X2= 17.9, p = 0.001 were statistically
significant at 5 % level of significance. The hypotheses that
differences in perception regarding climate change impact and
association with migration related to differences in independent
variable are not supported even at the 5 % significant level (Table
3). Similarly, the result of a Chi-square test of independence
which tested the association between respondents’ demographic
characteristics with their perception regarding climate change
related impact on the respondents Economy. The result of a Chisquare
test of independence suggested a significant association
between respondents occupation and awareness about climate
change related impact on crop loss X2= 38.7, p <0.001, the
association of climate change related impact on crop loss with
respondents age X2= 17.1, p = 0.001, the association of climate
change related impact on crop loss with education level X2=
36.1, p = 0.001 were statistically significant at 5 % level of
significance. The hypotheses that differences in perception
regarding climate change impact and association with water and
infrastructure cost related to different in independent variable
were not statistically significant even at the 5 % significant level
Logistic regression was used to determine the odds that
a ‘‘Yes’’ response to participants perception about Economic
impact of climate change and a function of a set of demographic
characteristics, including gender, age, education level, income
level and occupation (Table 5). displays the findings concerning
the perception of respondents about climate change impact on economy as function of predictors. The model shows a positive
relation between respondents’ educational level and occupation
with their perception about climate change impact on economy.
The model indicates that respondents with diploma and above
had more awareness compared to illiterate respondents and
respondents who possessed primary and secondary level
education (p=0.005). It was also observed that, government
employees had better awareness about perception about climate
change impact on economy compared to farmers, merchants and
others (p =0.100).
The logistic regression regarding respondents’ r perception
about climate change impact on social life of respondents’
function of predictors is presented (Table 6). The model revealed
that a positive relation between respondents’ educational level
with perception about Social impact of climate change. The
model indicates that respondents with diploma and above
had more awareness compared to illiterate respondents and
respondents who possessed primary and secondary level
The majority of world’s peoples and governments believe
that a climate change poses a high-level threat to human beings
and to the natural environment. Successive scientific reports,
notably from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Changes
, suggest that “there is a high level influence of human beings
on the world environment” and this high level influence cause
an overall degradation of the natural environment and to the
rising of world atmospheric temperature. The present study
result also indicates that Climate change has high impact on
environment in Arbaminch town. Shortage of rainfall, Drought,
water and air pollution, land degradation, unexpected rainfall
and heat wave are major environmental impact in Arbaminch
town (Figure 2) this study is similar with Studies undertaken by
, the major environmental problem currently faces Africa are
erosion, deforestation, desertification, drought, water shortages
resulting from the dry season, hot springs and active volcanoes
found to the extreme east of the rift valley. According to Reuveny
R , global climate change is also likely to have an effect on
intergroup relations. Diminishing resources set the stage for
intergroup conflict, either when two groups directly compete for
the remaining natural resources or when ecological degradation
forces one group to migrate out of its own territory and become
an immigrant into another group’s territory. In line with ,
this study indicated in (Table 3) that climate change has social
impact in Arbaminch town. There for the study result confirmed
that Conflict, intergroup tension, migration are indicated climate
change social impact in the town.
As expected, the logit model shows there is positive
association between respondents’ perception about climate
change impact on economic sector). It was also observed that
that respondents with diploma and above had more awareness
compared to illiterate respondents and respondents who
possessed primary and secondary level education (p=0.005)
and government employees had better awareness about
perception about climate change impact on economy compared
to farmers, merchants and others (p= 0.100). Studies also
reported that economic sectors that largely depend on weather
conditions either directly or indirectly most notably agriculture
and fisheries are increasingly subject to the impacts of climate
change , Studies by Alemu , on socioeconomic impact of
flooding in Dire Dawa shows that the 2006, flood has inflicted
severe direct and indirect damages on social; infrastructure
and economic sectors of Dire Dawa according to this study Arbaminch has faced similar economic impact of climate change.
Therefore, the respondents’ perception cannot merely depend
on the actual climate conditions and a change in the climate
parameters. Instead, it can be observed a number of social,
economic, environmental, and health factors.
This study has analyzed perception of respondents about
environmental, social, and economic impact of climate change
in Arbaminch town. This study shows that perception of
respondents about climate impact in environment, economy and
social life is different from individual to individual and is affected
by age, sex, income level and educational level and occupation of
the sample respondents. The major climate change impact in the
town are t, shortage of rainfall, seasonal fluctuation of rainfall,
drought and heavy rainfall which affects socio economy of the
town and environment by flooding, shortage of water, heat waves,
soil and land degradation and water and air pollution in the
study area. The local community and government intervention
is needed to reduce climate change impact on environmental
and socio economic and health of community by providing and
developing local adaptation strategies to reduce climate change
impacts and to build resilience to climate change impact.
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