Climate Change and Variability Impacts on Rural Livelihoods and Adaptation Strategies in Southern Ethiopia

  • Kushabo Araro
  • Solomon Addisu LegesseEmail author
  • Derege Tsegaye Meshesha
Original Article


The majority of rural people in Ethiopia depend on climate-sensitive rain-fed agriculture, which is the source of their livelihood and the basis for national growth and domestic products. The adverse effects of climate change and variability forced them to design proper adaptation strategies. This study was conducted at Konso district in Southern Ethiopia. The objective of the study was to assess the impacts of climate change and variability on rural livelihoods and the existing adaptation strategies. A multi-stage sampling technique was used and 138 sample households were selected. Primary data were collected through field visit and interview; whereas, secondary data were collected from the district agricultural offices and meteorological stations. A statistical analysis system, statistical package for social science version 23, Mann–Kendall trend test, t test, Chi-square test, precipitation concentration index and standard anomaly were used for data analysis. Accordingly, the results revealed that rainfall indicated a positive trend though with a little increment (0.1 mm/year) and inter-annual and seasonal variability. The annual maximum and minimum temperature revealed a positive and statistically significant increasing trend (p < 0.001). Both crop and livestock production have a positive correlation with the amount of rainfall at p ≤ 0.001 level of significance. The overall impact of climate change and variability as calculated in monetary terms for the year 2017 on the sample households was severe with loss of a huge amount of money. Farmers have used different adaptation mechanisms to minimize the adverse impacts of climate change and variability. However, there is a need to integrate methods of adaptation with the modern and environmental-friendly technologies.


Climate change Climate variability Livelihood Impact Adaptation strategy Environmentally friendly technologies Southern Ethiopia 



Climate resilient green economy


Coefficient of variance


Diammonium phosphate


Food and Agricultural Organization


Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia


Focus group discussion


Gross domestic product


Green house gases




Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change


Least developed countries


List significant difference


National adaptation program of action


National Meteorological Service Agency


Statistical package for social science


Soil and water conservation


United Nations Development Program


United Nations Environmental programs


United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change



This study would never be completed without the contribution of many people to whom we would like to express our gratitude. The administrative kebele’s development agents, district agricultural officials, local youths, in each of the sampling sites were indispensable for the successful completion of the field work. We would like also to acknowledge people who contributed their knowledge and time in data collection and other reliable supports.

Author Contributions

KA has made substantial contributions in conception design, acquisition of data, interpretation of results and leading the overall activities of the research. He has given also the final approval of the version to be published. SA and DT contributed in designing, data analysis, interpretation, manuscript preparation and submission. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.


Funded by Bahir Dar University and Bureau of forest, environment and climate change.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Ethical Approval

The authors hereby declare that, this manuscript is not published or considered for publication elsewhere.

Informed Consent

All authors read the manuscript and agree to publication.


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Copyright information

© King Abdulaziz University and Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of Agriculture and Environmental SciencesBahir Dar UniversityBahir DarEthiopia

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