Doctoral Degrees (Disaster Management Training and Education Centre for Africa (DiMTEC))

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  • ItemOpen Access
    The socio-economic coping and adaptation mechanisms employed by African migrant women in South Africa
    (University of the Free State, 2017-07) Ncube, Alice; Jordaan, A. J.; Bahta, Y. T.
    𝑬𝒏𝒈𝒍𝒊𝒔𝒉 The main aim of this study was to explore the socio-economic coping and adaptation mechanisms employed by African migrant women in South Africa. The conceptualisation of the social capital theory and its relationship with the six livelihood capitals drawn from the Sustainable Livelihood Framework and elaborated by the Community Capitals Framework formed the basis of the exploration of the multiple variables that African migrant women employed to devise coping and adaptation mechanisms in South Africa. A paralleled mixed method design was utilised in the study whereby both qualitative and quantitative methods of data collection were applied. The multiple stage sampling technique was employed for purposively selecting four out of the nine provinces in South Africa, namely Free State, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal and Western Cape. The ballot selection of the metropolitan cities in the provinces, namely Bloemfontein (Free State), Johannesburg, Pretoria and Ekurhuleni (Gauteng), Durban (KwaZulu-Natal) and Cape Town (Western Cape) followed by the random sample selection of 332 African migrant women from 23 sub-Saharan countries. A semi-structured questionnaire was used to collect both qualitative and quantitative data that was done simultaneously with informal observations and interviews. The data included the demographic and socio-economic characteristics of the migrant women which were critical in exploring the coping and adaptation mechanisms they employed in South Africa. The migrant women’s initial and long-term survival mechanisms and the type of networks they had in the country were also explored in order to find out how these impacted on their coping and adaptation mechanisms. The livelihood capitals and the various identified livelihood capital factors were also evaluated, correlated, ranked and scored, using multi-attribute contingent ratings, Kendall’s coefficient of concordance and Pearson’s chi-square test to come up with the socio-economic coping mechanisms employed by the migrant women. The study explored the importance of the pre-migration, transition period and post-migration capacities, capabilities and livelihood capitals and factors possessed by migrant women in the host country. The demographic and socio-economic characteristics of the migrant women played a significant role in the coping and adaptation mechanisms employed by migrant women. The human, social, economic, physical, political and cultural capitals were the broad livelihood capitals of coping and adaptation. Being in the productive age group, possessing marriage, economic power, education potential, strong linguistic capabilities, especially English and local languages, residence statuses, entrepreneurial capabilities, and innovative aptitudes, made migrant women cope and adapt in South Africa. Support systems such as family and humanitarian support enabled the migrant women to cope and adapt on arrival in South Africa, and in the long term they utilised their employability prowess and enterprising abilities to adapt in the country. Strong networks and networking capabilities played a major role in their coping strategies. The utilisation of human, physical, cultural, social, economic and political livelihood capitals facilitated their coping and adaptation in South Africa the host country. The study recommended that the South African government needs to have a clear policy on the receipt, treatment and settlement of international migrants, especially African migrants, as reflected by the migrant women. There should be a clear policy that protects the local labour force from foreigners in order to prevent conflict. The documentation of the international migrants needs to be improved to be able to avoid conflict and reduce illegal migrants that are “perceived” to be also causing societal problems among communities. This could be done by introducing the latest technologies that are efficient, such as the biometric systems of identification. Refugees and asylum seekers need to be given the rights enshrined in the Geneva Conventions and, in turn, they also need to take responsibility that goes with the rights afforded them. The South African education system also needs to be aligned more to entrepreneurial skilling of locals so that they can compete with the migrants who do not rely on the state social security systems. Training, education and awareness campaigns need to be rolled out to grassroots level so that they understand the international migration and the benefits it brings to host countries. The government could clarify policies on businesses ownership, especially small businesses by foreigners to avoid conflict. ___________________________________________________________________
  • ItemOpen Access
    Understanding resilience pathways to climate change in a changing rangeland environment amongst pastoral societies of Afar Region, Ethiopia
    (University of the Free State, 2017) Fenta, Muluken Mekuyie; Jordaan, Andries; Melka, Yoseph
    Change in climate and climate extremes are increasingly being acknowledged as a vital challenge to pastoral production systems. The resilience of pastoral households to climate-induced shocks depends on the knowledge, skills of households and assets. The present study was conducted in the Southern Afar region in Ethiopia to understand the resilience of pastoralists to climate change and variability in a changing rangeland environment. This study used the Mann-Kendall statistical test, the Sen’s slope estimator test and the Standardised Precipitation Index to analyse the trends of climate change and variability and the annual and seasonal anomalies of rainfall, and assess the severity of droughts in the study area. A household questionnaire survey and focus group discussion were employed to collect primary data at household level. A total of 250 pastoral households were sampled using stratified random sampling. The data obtained were analysed using descriptive statistics, principal component analysis and linear regression, as well as Tobit models. In addition, satellite image analysis and field observation were used to analyse the land-use/land-cover changes in the Southern Afar region. The results indicated a significant declining and increasing trend of Sugum (spring) season and Karma (summer) season rainfall, respectively in the study area. However, significant trend was not observed for long-term annual rainfall. The coefficient of variation of seasonal rainfall ranged from 25.2 to 42.7, indicating the strong variability of rainfall among the seasons. Precipitation Concentration Index values also indicated a strong, irregular distribution of rainfall in the study area which was more irregular in the Gewane than in the Amibara district. Analysis of the Standardised Precipitation Index indicated that the total percentage of dry years (negative anomalies of rainfall) ranged from 53.3% (at Amibara) to 43.3% (at Gewane), implying more drought periods in the Amibara than the Gewane district for the observation periods. However, the percentages of extreme drought years were from 6.7% (at Amibara) to 10% (at Gewane). The research has confirmed a significant increasing trend of monthly, seasonal and annual temperatures for the period 1983–2014. The results also indicated that the mean annual temperature of the Southern Afar has increased by 0.67 °C dec–1which is almost twice the national increase. Due to the unreliability and erratic nature of rainfall and recurrent droughts in the region, pasture and water availability became scarce and livestock assets and productivity reduced to a high degree, the income and asset ownership of households declined and the market price of livestock decreased, while the price of grain food increased. Due to deepening of poverty in the Southern Afar region, the informal safety net/mutual support system was eroded and individualism was increased. Furthermore, the pastoral households pursued different strategies to adapt/cope with climate-induced shocks and stresses. The most important strategies deployed by the local people included mixing livestock–crop farming, mobility, changing herd species composition and herd splitting, reduced consumption, remittance, cash-forwork, charcoal burning and firewood selling and food aid. The indigenous early warning system and mutual support among the extended families, neighbours and community were still significant to enhance the resilience of the pastoral households, though the indigenous early warning system was not integrated into the formal early warning system and the informal safety nets were eroded. The results further indicated that agro-pastoral households were more resilient than pastoral households to climate-induced shock. Furthermore, households in the Gewane district were more resilient than those in the Amibara district. In addition, female-headed households were less resilient than male-headed households. The findings further indicated that irrigation crop farming, livestock ownership, education level, per capita income, mobility and herd splitting, herd composition change, labour, remittance, food aid, access to credit, market and formal early warning information had a significant impact on the resilience of households to climate-induced shocks and stresses. The findings of the household vulnerability analysis indicated that 28.8%, 53.6% and 17.6% of pastoralists were highly vulnerable, moderately vulnerable and less vulnerable, respectively, to climate-induced shocks and stresses. The most important drivers that determine the vulnerability level of households were gender, age and marital status of the household, household size, educational level, extension services, farming experience, early warning information, livestock asset, irrigation farming, non-farm income, livestock mobility, radio ownership, distance to market and veterinary clinic, access to credit and agricultural inputs, the number of sick family members, the number of months with food shortages during the normal season of the year and number of dependents in the household. The results also indicated that substantial loss of grassland cover (64.5%), moderate decline of cultivated land (24%) and a dramatic increment of shrub and bushland cover (114.3%) occurred between 1985 and 2015. Consequently, access to rangeland resources and farmlands for pastoralists was highly restricted, putting the pastoral communities under increasing threat. The identified drivers of land use/cover changes in the order of decreasing influence were the invasion of Prosopis juliflora, climate change, and variability, government intervention, and population growth. If enhancing the resilience of pastoral households is the final aim, the government and other partner organisations should focus more on long-term strategic livelihood interventions than on emergency relief interventions by equipping the local people with the capability to manage and respond to climate-induced shocks and stresses in the early stage of the crisis. Furthermore, the decision makers should develop a policy for controlling P. juliflora and ensuring accessibility of the rangeland to grazing and strengthening of the customary institution for effective management of rangeland resources.