Analyzing Effects Of Climate Variability In The Nexus Of Informal Microfinance Institutions: A Case Study Of Tharaka South Subcounty, Kenya.

Kaua, C. G., Thenya, T., & Mutheu, J. M.

Climate variability is variation of climate elements from the longterm mean state on all spatiotemporal
scales. Climate variability affects microfinance institutions directly and indirectly through physical
and transition risks. However, no studies have analyzed the effects of climate variability in relation to
informal microfinance institutions. The study, therefore, analyzed the effects of climate variability in relation
to informal microfinance institutions. It used a descriptive study design and multi-stage sampling design.
Data was analyzed using thematic analysis, descriptive analysis, and Kendall’s tau-b correlation analysis.
The study found a positive trend in climate variability (b = 0:174,  > 0:05). Local people are highly
vulnerable to climate variability as confirmed by 98.7% of the respondents who observed that climate
variability affects their livelihoods. This vulnerability stems from the effect of climate variability on access
to capital assets and livelihood strategies. Vulnerability to climate variability has a significant negative
effect on loan repayment performance, loan access and sustainability, and hence on informal microfinance
performance (b = ?0:109; P < 0:01). Nevertheless, climate variability increases participation in informal
microfinance institutions as shown by the positive relationship with the number of people who joined informal
microfinance institutions (b = 0:239 ; P < 0:01) and the number formed per year (b = 0:137; P < 0:01)
from 1981 to 2018. This is because informal microfinance institutions help vulnerable households in building
resilience to climate variability as observed by 80.8% of the respondents. The characteristics of informal
microfinance institutions have positive or negative relationships with vulnerability to climate variability. These
relationships are and could be further leveraged upon to address effects of climate variability on informal
microfinance institutions. Detailed contextual analysis of informal microfinance institutions in the nexus of
climate variability is thus imperative to inform actions aimed at cushioning the groups and their members
against the impacts.