Vulnerability to climate change in the context of multiple stressors in Tigray region, Ethiopia

Miss Rahwa Kidane1

1University of Adelaide, Adelaide, Australia


Smallholder farmers’ in Ethiopia are vulnerable to climatic and non-climatic forces. Using a survey of 400 farm households, in-depth interviews and participatory methods that employed a case study approach, the study examines vulnerability to climate change in the context of multiple and interacting stressors in Raya Azebo district, Northern Ethiopia. The research does so by putting the views of the vulnerable at the centre of the analysis. Through participatory methods, and focus groups, farmers were asked to identify and assess stressors that are impacting their livelihoods, without initial reference to the issue of climate change to avoid biases in response. Overall, sixteen problems, including both climate and non-climate concerns emerged from the analysis of the qualitative data. Drought ranked as a major concern as compared to other non-climatic stressors. Some of these non-climatic stressors include ineffective agricultural policies, land grabbing, weak drought early warning system, market challenges and poor rural infrastructure. These findings suggest that climate change should be treated as one challenge among the many socio-economic, political and institutional drivers of vulnerability and adaptation initiatives should take into account these broader challenges in the design and implementation of policies.


Rahwa is currently a Phd student at the University of Adelaide. She obtained her master’s degree from the University of Copenhagen and her undergraduate degree from the University of Haramaya, Ethiopia. Here email address: or

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