Assessing Women Domestic Chores and Vulnerability to Climate Variability in Chepseon Sub location, Nakuru County, Kenya
Koskei, Nancy Chebet
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Climate change is a major challenge of mankind in the 21st century. While climate change existed even in the pre-industrial era, recent trends exacerbated by human activities have raised global concern that climate change is threatening the achievement of sustainable development. While effects of climate change have been experienced all over the world, developing countries will be hardest hit because this is where millions of the world‟s poorest people are already being forced to cope with its impacts, yet they contributed less to historic GHG emissions. Kenya is vulnerable to climate change because most of her people‟s economic activities are dependent on climate sensitive natural resources. This study was done to assess women domestic chores and vulnerability to climate variability in Chepseon sub location, Nakuru County, Kenya. The objectives of the study were to determine climate variability from 1982-2011, to find out if there was a relationship between climate variability awareness and women‟s level of education and to investigate adaptive strategies that women had in place to cushion them from climate variability in Chepseon Sub location, Nakuru County of Kenya. Descriptive survey was used to solicit data on women‟s domestic chores and their vulnerability to climate variability. A sample size of 90 households was selected through stratified random sampling. Questionnaires were used to collect data. Climate variability data spanning 1982 to 2011 were obtained from Kenya Meteorological Department. Results were discussed and presented as descriptive statistics in tables and graphs. Annual precipitation trend showed a general increase from 1071.5mm in the year 1982 to 1106.5mm in the year 2011. Five year moving averages also showed variability in the amounts of rainfall received, with the first five years rising from 900.54mm to 918.60mm in the next five years then decreasing to 797.96mm in the next five years that followed. Average rainfall then rose to 913.24mm in the next five year. The years 2002-2011 indicated a relative increase in the average annual precipitation from 1018.98mm to 1087.24mm. This trend showed variability of rainfall over the years which were also unpredictable. Temperature analysis also showed variability in both minimum and maximum temperatures. The mean monthly minimum temperature depicted a positive trend from 10.39˚C in the month of January to 10.64˚C in the month of December while the mean monthly maximum temperature depicted a negative trend from 27.3˚C in the month of January to 25.73˚C in the month of December over the 30 year period. Chi-square test results indicated that there was no significant relationship between the level of education and climate variability awareness among the respondents in Chepseon sub location (2 =2.595, df= 4, 89 and p=0.458). Majority (49%) of those that were aware of climate variability had only completed primary school level. The possible explanation for this was that they could not gain access to formal employment and could only carry out domestic chores which involved using natural resources that were at risk of climate variability. Climate variability was experienced in Chepseon sub location and women were not well adapted to changes in climatic conditions. Awareness on the causes and consequences of climate variability should be made in order to sensitize women on its‟ challenges and the possible ways of adapting to it.