Impacts of Climate Change on Small Holder Households in Mt. Elgon Region of Uganda: Does Gender Matter?

  • Nabanoga N. GorettieEmail author
  • Namaalwa J. Justine
  • Bomuhangi Allan
Part of the Climate Change Management book series (CCM)


Agriculture, the main livelihood activity for several communities in Uganda, is threatened by short- and long-term changes in temperatures and precipitation. The increasing involvement of women in agriculture has attracted a myriad of gender-climate studies. However, much of the focus has concentrated on the usual gender dichotomy that assumes homogeneity within gender identities. This study is based on the premise that while an evaluation of male- and female-headed households is important, it only forms an initial stride in understanding climate change impacts’ and adaptation analyses. Using focus group discussions and household surveys, this study unveils the climate change adaptation dynamics created by the different positions that men and women hold across defined household typologies in the Mt. Elgon region. The results indicate that male divorced/separated/widowed households are more impacted by crop failure than female divorced/separated/widowed households. Across the households, adult male and female vulnerability was attributed mainly to a limited asset ownership portfolio. Due to ownership of more diverse assets, coupled households had more flexibility to engage in a number of adaptive/coping strategies compared to any other household type. Women in coupled households were also more likely to adapt to crop failure compared to women in other household types, given that they have some access to and use rights of their spouse’s assets. Given these dynamics, it is concluded that issues of gender and climate change are multifaceted and that meaningful design and implementation of adaptation strategies should not view “male,” “female,” and “household” as homogeneous categories but rather recognize their variation in adaptation process.


Climate change Gender Household type Adaptation Crop failure Mt. Elgon Uganda 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nabanoga N. Gorettie
    • 1
    Email author
  • Namaalwa J. Justine
    • 1
  • Bomuhangi Allan
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Forestry, Environmental and Geographical Sciences, Makerere UniversityKampalaUganda

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