Assessing Contexualised Household Vulnerability and Coping Mechanisms to Drought in Traditional Authority Symon, Neno District, Malawi

  • Immaculate Suwira Bottoman Mzuzu University, Department of Agri-Sciences, Faculty of Environmental Sciences, Mzuzu, Malawi.
Keywords: vulnerability, exposure, sensitivity, adaptive capacity livelihood vulnerability index, sustainable livelihoods framework


This paper used the LVI Vulnerability Index (LVI), to assess contextualized contributing factors to household vulnerability to drought in T/A Symon, Neno District in Malawi. We interviewed 164 households from 2 villages of Ntingala and Mbemba and collected data on social demographic, Networks and relationships, knowledge and skills, livelihood strategies, food, health, water, forest and natural disasters as well as ex ante and ex post coping mechanisms. Results show Mbemba is relatively more vulnerable than Ntingala and the vulnerabilities in both villages is a contribution of various livelihood indicators.  The study recommends that Livelihood Vulnerability Index can be applied to assess community vulnerability widely with contexualised livelihood indicators. It contributes to the body of knowledge on targeting vulnerable households with food or focus on interventions that empower the community to strengthen their adaptive capacity and resilience. The results can inform designing of specific interventions to build community resilience.


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