On the fringes of adaptation: climate change, risk perception and household resettlement in rural Malawi

Stern Kita // Geography // Wednesday 22nd February 2017 // 1-2pm // Arts C 133


The lecture focuses on a study conducted in Malawi, sub-Saharan Africa as part of a PhD project to assesses why there are variations in adopting resettlement as an adaptation measure among households with similar levels of vulnerability to climate variability and change. It will specifically narrow down on how social-psychological and socio-economic factors determine resettlement outcomes. This will then be discussed within broader adaptation and disaster risk reduction perspectives to demonstrate some of the challenges that vulnerable households in low-income countries face as they adapt to climate change, within the context of equally demanding livelihood and other needs. It will also demonstrate this complexity in private adaptation with evidence showing that, in most communities, adaptation decisions are made not just in response to a single hazard. In the case of these complexities, maladaptive options, or non-response options such as wishful thinking, denial and fatalism that some households are adopting become clearer.


Stern Kita is a third year PhD student in Geography whose research is focusing on adaptation to climate change and climate variability, with a focus on resettlement. He has worked in disaster risk management for the past seven years within government in Malawi. He holds an MSc in Environment and Development from Trinity College Dublin, Ireland.

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