Accommodation of climate change in coastal areas of cameroon: selection of household-level protection options

  • Ernest L. MoluaEmail author
Original Article


Coastal areas are threatened under climate change because of factors related to vulnerability of society and sensitivity of the environment. Protection and adaptation may mitigate the adverse consequences. This research reviews and assesses the options of protection by homeowners in the coastal zone in the southwest region of Cameroon. The coastal zone of Cameroon is studied because of the observed deleterious effect of recent extreme climatic events. From a research sample of 400 households, the house types and protection strategies - which are of two main types: reactive measures and preventive measures taken to offset adverse effects on property, are studied. A multinomial logit function reveals that income, education, age and gender are significant factors determining household’s probability on the selection of protection measures. The study concludes that there are strong implications for adaptation to future climate change, and the ability of homeowners to extensively respond will have to be reinforced not only by communal and public works projects but also through an active government policy to promote climate change adaptation.


Climate change Coastal residents Protection options 



The research leading to this article was funded by the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA) under the initiative and coordination of the Centre for Environmental Economics and Policy in Africa (CEEPA). Appreciation goes to the researchers and resource scientists at CEEPA’s Biannual Research Workshops on their comments on earlier drafts of the manuscript. Further appreciation goes to the reviewers. Any flaws this article may contain are the sole responsibility of the author.


  1. Associated Press (2009) Thousands of West African families work to make flooded homes livable in torrential rains. Accessed on 13 September 2009
  2. Cameroon Tribune (2009) Douala: de nombreux blessés suite aux inondations. Yaoundé Accessed on 13 September 2009
  3. Chow G (1983) Econometrics. McGraw-Hill, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  4. Dasgupta S, Laplante B, Murray S, Wheeler D (2009) Sea-level rise and storm surges: a comparative analysis of impacts in developing countries. Policy Research Working Paper, No: WPS 4901, World Bank, Washington DCGoogle Scholar
  5. Davies S (1989) Are coping strategies a cop out? IDS Bulletin 28(4):60–72Google Scholar
  6. Dercon S (2004) Growth and shocks: evidence from rural Ethiopia. J Dev Econ 74(2):309–329CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Donnelly JP, Woodruff JD (2007) Intense hurricane activity over the past 5, 000 years controlled by El Niño and the West African monsoon. Nature 447:465–468CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. El Raey M, Frihy O, Nasr SM, Dewidar Kh (1998) Vulnerability assessment of sea level rise over Port-Said Governorate, Egypt. Environ Monit Assess 56:113–128CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. El Raey M, Dewidar Kh, El Hattab M (1999) Adaptation to the impacts of sea level rise in Egypt. Clim Res 12:117–128CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Ellis F (1998) Household strategies and rural livelihood diversification. J Dev Stud 35(1):1–38CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Emanuel KA (2005) Increasing destructiveness of tropical cyclones over the past 30 years. Nature 436:686–688CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Fanos AM, Khafagy AA, Dean RG (1995) Protective works on the Nile Delta. J Coast Res 11:516–528Google Scholar
  13. Goklany IM (2008) What to do about climate change policy analysis, No. 609 Cato Institute, Washington DCGoogle Scholar
  14. Greene WH (2003) Econometric Analysis, 5th edn. Prentice Hall, New JerseyGoogle Scholar
  15. Heltberg R, Bennett PS, Jorgensen SL (2008) Addressing human vulnerability to climate change: toward a ‘No Regrets’ approach. Paper presented at the Workshop on Social Aspects of Climate Change, held March 5-6, 2008 at World Bank headquarters in Washington DCGoogle Scholar
  16. IPCC (2007) Climate change 2007: scientific basis. Fourth assessment report of the intergovernmental panel on climate change. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  17. Jallow P, Bubu P, Toure S, Malang MK, Barrow A, Achy M (1999) Coastal zone of The Gambia and the Abidjan region in Côte d’Ivoire: sea level rise vulnerability, response strategies, and adaptation options. Clim Res 12:129–136CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Keim BD, Robbins KD (2006) Occurrence dates of North Atlantic tropical storms and hurricanes: 2005 in perspective. Geophys Res Lett 33:L21706CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Kurukulasuriya P, Mendelsohn R, Hassan R, Benhin J, Deressa T, Diop M, Eid HM, Fosu KY, Gbetibouo G, Jain S, Mahamadou A, Mano R, Kabubo-Mariara J, El-Marsafawy S, Molua E, Ouda S, Ouedraogo M, Sène I, Maddison D, Seo SN, Dinar A (2006) Will African agriculture survive climate change? World Bank Econ Rev 20:367–88CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Mann ME, Emanuel KA, Holland GJ, Webster PJ (2007) Atlantic tropical cyclones revisited. Eos 88(36):349–350CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. McFadden DL (1981) Econometric models of probabilistic choice. In: McFadden DL (ed) Structural Analysis of Discrete Data and Econometric Applications. MIT, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  22. Mimura N (1999) Vulnerability of island countries in the South Pacific to sea level rise and climate change. Clim Res 12:137–143CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. MINAT/UNDP (2003) Rapport sur l’Etat de la Protection Civile au Cameroun en 2002 . Yaounde: MINAT/DPC, 2003Google Scholar
  24. Molua EL (2002) Climate variability, vulnerability and effectiveness of farm-level adaptation options: the challenges and implications for food security in rural Cameroon. J Environ Dev Econ 7(3):529–545Google Scholar
  25. Molua EL (2006) Climate Trends in Cameroon: Implications for Agricultural Management. Clim Res 30:255–262CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Molua EL (2008) Turning up the heat on African agriculture: economic impact of climate change on agriculture in Cameroon. Afr J Agric Resour Econ 2(1):45–64Google Scholar
  27. Moser C (1998) The asset vulnerability framework: reassessing urban poverty reduction strategies. World Dev 26(1):1–19CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Neba A (1999) Modern geography of the Republic of Cameroon, 3rd edn. Neba, BamendaGoogle Scholar
  29. Resio DT, Westerink JJ (2008) Modeling the physics of storm surges. Phys Today 61(9):33–38CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. SAPA (2007) 50 homeless after storms. South African Press Association, JohannesburgGoogle Scholar
  31. Sen A (1981) Poverty and famines: an essay on entitlement and deprivation. Clarendon, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  32. UNEP/GEF (2000) UNEP/GEF Country Case Studies on Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation Assessments (Estonia, Pakistan, Antigua & Barbuda, Cameroon). In: O´Brien,K., (Ed.), Developing Strategies for Climate Change: The UNEP Country Studies on Climate Change Impacts and Adaptations Assessment. Published by CICERO (Center for International Climate and Environmental Research, Oslo), Report No. 2000:2. (ISSN: 0804-4562), pp. 49-70.
  33. Webster PJ, Holland GJ, Curry JA, Chang HR (2005) Changes in tropical cyclone number, duration, and intensity in a warming environment. Science 309:1844–1846CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Yohe GW, Schlesinger ME (1998) Sea-level change: the expected economic cost of protection or abandonment in the United States. Clim Change 38(4):447–472CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Zeidler RB (1997) Climate change vulnerability and response strategies for the Coastal Zone of Poland. Clim Change 36(1-2):151–173CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Economics and ManagementUniversity of BueaCameroonRepublic of Cameroon

Personalised recommendations