Assessment of Farmers’ Vulnerability to Climate Change in the North Bank Region, the Gambia


Climate variability and change have become a major concern for farmers who have experienced its negative effects through crop failure and reduction in income. This research assess the vulnerability of farmers in the North Bank Region of the Gambia to selected climate change factors and extreme event based on an indicator approach. Twenty four indicator which reflect the component of vulnerability: exposure, sensitivity, and adaptive capacity, were selected for the purpose of this work. Data were collected through a household survey and key informant interview. The result of the household survey was used to determine the vulnerability index computed by subtracting adaptation capacity on exposure and sensitivity. Two approaches of normalization namely: maximum value transformation and z-score transformation, and another one without normalization (simple average) were used to determine the indexes of vulnerability. The results of the study show that communities and districts that have a high exposure to climate change and extremes were more vulnerable. Furthermore, it was found vulnerability was strongly related to the socio-economic characteristics of farmers. At the community level Kerr Jarga Jobe was found to be the most vulnerable, while at the district level Jokadu was more vulnerable than Lower Baddibu. Overall the study area was found to be highly vulnerable using the simple average and maximum value transformation, whereas it was less vulnerable using the z-score transformation approach. The vulnerability of farmers in the North Bank region is mainly triggered by socio-economic factor which can be influenced by policy maker. Therefore, policy intervention should be focused on improving farmers’ adaptive capacity at the local level.