Table 5. Coping and adapting strategies according to focus group discussions in each village, with four separate groups of men, young and mature, and women, young and mature (combined summary).

Village Category of strategy Strategies for flood Strategies for drought
Papasena
1 & 2
Settlements Build houses on higher stilts No strategy
Productive Move gardens to higher ground. Hunt in areas not affected and near gardens where animals look for food. Plant fast growing crops and harvest before the rainy season (e.g., sweet potato and banana). Plant cassava, which can grow in dry conditions
Kwerba Settlements Relocate temporarily to higher ground. Replace roof tiles with grass or Pandanus leaves for air circulation.
Productive Move gardens. Go back to old flooded gardens afterward. Same cultivars are used. Fish more because fish is easier to catch in clearer water.
Cultural No strategy Use rituals for calling rain.
Burmeso Settlements Relocate temporarily to higher ground. Stay in the forest in small settlements shaded by trees.
Productive Plant only short-cycle crops (string beans, ground nuts, other green vegetables). Use spades to break hard soil, but the techniques for cultivation remain the same.
Metaweja Settlements Relocate temporarily to higher ground. No strategy
Productive Move gardens to higher ground. Harvest annual crops before rainy season. Look for new locations of natural fishponds when stream changes direction. Gnemo trees (Gnetum gnemon) decreasing and replaced by fern leaves as wild vegetable for household consumption.
Cultural Taboos to prevent gardens from being planted in Nuari Mountain, (sacred area). In case of violation important floods may occur. Use taboos against planting near the river to avoid crop damage by flood (now no longer observed). No strategy
Yoke Settlements Repair damaged houses with whole community (this applies to winds). No strategy
Productive No specific action because gardens are not moved. Look for drinking nonsalty water far from the village.