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A lake without water

livelihood coping strategies during the Lake Chilwa water recessions in Malawi

Nagoli, Joseph (2016). A lake without water. Diss. (sammanfattning/summary) Uppsala : Sveriges lantbruksuniv., Acta Universitatis Agriculturae Sueciae, 1652-6880 ; 2016:36
ISBN 978-91-576-8574-2
eISBN 978-91-576-8575-9
[Doctoral thesis]

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This thesis explores the human-environment interaction within the climate-sensitive socio-ecological system of Lake Chilwa in Malawi. It uses the livelihoods framework to analyse various coping strategies to resource scarcity due to lake recessions. The main aim is to understand the processes by which decision-making takes place and the influence of various agents of change on coping with environmental shocks, i.e. water recessions. Lake Chilwa undergoes periodic water recessions with up to twelve incidents recorded between 1900 and 2012. While the lake and its wetland is an economic aquatic agriculture system in between recessions, it is unclear how households around the system survive during the periods of water recessions. Qualitative and quantitative studies were conducted between March 2012 and December 2013 on Chisi Island of Lake Chilwa to evaluate the coping strategies and their major drivers in responding to the periodic lake recessions. Using interpretive analysis, the findings show that people from the Lake Chilwa socio-ecological system have lived in anticipation of periodic environmental shocks due to their deep historical knowledge of the lake level and its fluctuations. This knowledge has been passed from generation to generation. Results further show that the main coping strategies that have stood the test of time for every recession are based on reciprocity and redistribution. These include sharing through kinship ties, hunting wild birds and farming. In many cases coping strategies for each specific recession are driven by political, social and economic factors prevailing at that particular period. Given these conditions, different agents (individuals or communities) make choices designed to maximise their own interests as they scramble to access scarce resources. Although natural resources in these systems are fundamental assets in rural livelihoods, accessing them in times of scarcity requires better governance systems that consider social, political and economic contexts.

Authors/Creators:Nagoli, Joseph
Title:A lake without water
Subtitle:livelihood coping strategies during the Lake Chilwa water recessions in Malawi
Series Name/Journal:Acta Universitatis Agriculturae Sueciae
Year of publishing :7 April 2016
Depositing date:7 April 2016
Number of Pages:120
INagoli, J. and Chiwona-Karltun, L. (submitted). Uncovering Human Social Networks in Coping with Lake Chilwa Recessions in Malawi. Submitted to Journal of Environmental Management.
IINagoli, J., Mulwafu, W., Green, E. and Chiwona-Karltun, L. (Forthcoming). Conflicts over natural resource scarcity in the aquatic ecosystem of the Lake Chilwa. Forthcoming in Environment and Ecology Research.
IIINagoli, J., Green, E., Mulwafu, W. and Chiwona-Karltun, L. (under review) Coping with the Double Crisis: Lake Chilwa Recession and the Great Depression on Chisi Island in colonial Malawi, 1930-1935. Resubmitted with revisions to Human Ecology.
IVRatner, B. D., Cohen, P., Barman, B., Mam, K. Nagoli, J. and Allison E. H. (2013). Governance of Aquatic Agricultural Systems: Analysing Representation, Power, and Accountability. Ecology and Society, 18(4): 59.
Place of Publication:Uppsala
Publisher:Department of Urban and Rural Development, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
ISBN for printed version:978-91-576-8574-2
ISBN for electronic version:978-91-576-8575-9
Publication Type:Doctoral thesis
Full Text Status:Public
Agris subject categories.:E Economics, development, and rural sociology > E50 Rural sociology and social security
P Natural resources > P10 Water resources and management
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 5 Social Sciences > 507 Social and Economic Geography > Human Geography
(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 5 Social Sciences > 509 Other Social Sciences > Gender Studies
(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 5 Social Sciences > 509 Other Social Sciences > Other Social Sciences not elsewhere specified
Agrovoc terms:lakes, water depletion, livelihoods, socioeconomic environment, water management, ecosystem services, rural population, adaptation, human behaviour, psychological factors, malawi
Keywords:coping, Lake Chilwa, recessions, livelihoods, natural resources, scarcity
Permanent URL:
ID Code:13259
Faculty:NJ - Fakulteten för naturresurser och jordbruksvetenskap
Department:(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Urban and Rural Development
(LTJ, LTV) > Dept. of Urban and Rural Development
External funders:WorldFish
Deposited By: Informatör Anni Hoffrén
Deposited On:07 Apr 2016 13:43
Metadata Last Modified:10 Sep 2020 13:41

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