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The issue of climate change is so critical to the extent that it affects about seventy five percent of Nigerians’ livelihoods. Climate related events such as floods, rainstorms, increasing temperature and droughts among others have been on the increase in the last few years. These have been attributed to both natural and human causes. This study examines the determinants of local people’s understanding of climate change, impacts and coping strategies in some selected rural communities of Kwara State, Nigeria with a view to comparing their knowledge with scientific knowledge. Eight rural communities were randomly selected from the State within the area representing more than 80% of the total local district areas. Since rural dwellers engage more in primary activities than any other activities, therefore, respondents were selected from farming, hunting and fishing activities. Participatory Rural Appraisal method with emphasis on group discussion technique and observatory technique were employed to collect data from the participants. Climatic data for two climatic normals were collected from the period 1957 to 1986 and 1987to 2016. Descriptive and inferential tools were used to achieve the stated objectives. The results revealed that local people have their own knowledge of the understanding of the climate change and findings revealed further that the farmers and other primary producers in the studied communities were indeed experiencing climate change variability and impacts. Result of the socioeconomic and demographic characteristics showed that the average age of respondents was 41.2 years, 80.64% were married, majority, (61.27%) had farming has their main occupation and mean years of experience of respondents was 24.5 years on farm and in the management of environmental resources. The multiple regression result revealed that gender, primary activities, age, local knowledge, coping strategies were found to increase the understanding of climate change of respondents. Focus Group Discussion showed that the respondents were very much aware of the climate change and there exist early warning mechanisms which they put in place against the future weather events. They have different local coping techniques to mitigate the possible impact. It was therefore recommended that more awareness be created to ensure that people realize the consequences of climate change and integrate the local knowledge with the formal strategies.

About the Authors

A. M. Tunde
University of Ilorin

Department of Geography and Environmental Management


B. S. Ajadi
Kwara State Polytechnic

Department of Geography



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