Adaptation & Resilience
Sub-Saharan Africa
Uche Okpara, Lindsay Stringer, and Andrews Dougill
Regional environmental change

In an article recently published in Regional Environmental Change, Uche Okpara, Lindsay Stringer, and Andrews Dougill discuss the development and application of a climate-water conflict vulnerability index to assess communities along the southeastern shores of Lake Chad in the Republic of Congo. The authors surveyed 240 resource users, including farmers, fishermen, and pastoralists, to determine household-level stressors in an attempt to uncover environmental conflicts between local communities. Out of the three groups, pastoralists reported feeling most vulnerable to water scarcity, while farmers reported high vulnerability to conflicts and aggression due to the encroachment of pastoralists onto farmland. This resource scarcity and disparity underlies approximately three quarters of all conflicts reported in the surveyed villages, according to the authors. Fishermen reported more vulnerability to climate-related losses but were better supported through social and political networks. The authors suggest development interventions for the villages target insufficient water supplies to decrease climate conflicts.