Vulnerability, conflict and institutions: navigating livelihoods on Lake Tanganyika

Namwira, Deo Zihindula ORCID: 0000-0002-5918-193X (2020). Vulnerability, conflict and institutions: navigating livelihoods on Lake Tanganyika. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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In developing countries, inland fisheries, while providing livelihoods to hundreds of thousands fisherfolk, are adversely affected by changes, driven often by external environmental disturbances including natural disasters and conflicts, which can lead to vulnerability. To survive, fisherfolk respond to vulnerability through coping strategies mediated by institutions. Little is known about how fisherfolk respond to vulnerability being in or near locations experiencing prolonged conflicts, and on how institutions, formal and informal, mediate their coping strategies. This is investigated in this research using Lake Tanganyika, a transboundary water resource. Having been affected by decades of the DRC war, Lake Tanganyika brings additional complexities to both the fishing practices and fisherfolk livelihoods, due to its transboundary nature. The study applied a modified Sustainable Livelihoods Framework (SLF) linked to critical institutionalism, to answer the research question ‘How do small-scale fisherfolk secure livelihoods in situations of change?’ Informed by literature on vulnerability, livelihoods, conflict and institutions, qualitative data were collected through two rounds of fieldwork in six shoreline villages in Tanzania and the DRC. The findings suggest that fisherfolk, in addition to being differently affected by the DRC conflict-induced vulnerability factors, live in dynamic multiple institutional environments shaped by local contexts. Such a mix of institutions including state rules, management and enforcement structures, social norms, community groups and local beliefs (religious and traditional), mediate fisherfolk behaviours that can either exacerbate/maintain or reduce vulnerability depending on the conditions in which they operate and the socioeconomic categories of concerned fisherfolk.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
Licence: All rights reserved
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Social Sciences
School or Department: School of Government and Society, Department of International Development
Funders: Other
Other Funders: National Geographic Society - USA - Fieldwork research grant, University of Birmingham - Doctoral Researchers Development Funding Award, University of Birmingham - Fieldwork research award, University of Birmingham - Standard Award
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
S Agriculture > SH Aquaculture. Fisheries. Angling
Z Bibliography. Library Science. Information Resources > Z719 Libraries (General)


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