Joto Afrika: Climate Communication for Adaptation

Joto Afrika: Climate Communication for Adaptation

Six African case studies highlighting innovative mechanisms for climate information dissemination

Produced by the Adaptation Learning Programme of Care International, amongst others, this special issue of Joto Afrika presents six case studies of innovative approaches to communicating climate information to farmers and pastoralists in Kenya, Niger and Ghana. Here are the six case studies, together with a few highlights of the results.

  • Rainfall recording as a community decision tool in Niger – 20 community gauges have been linked with a mobile phone based monitoring and early warning system. Communities measure rainfall, feed the data to a central meteorological centre, who then disseminate findings via radio. Quantification of rainfall has given farmers greater confidence in knowing when to plant seed.
  • Agro-meteorology advice in Kenya – Before each of the two rainfall seasons, some communities come together with extension workers and project coordinators to share knowledge, discuss forecasts and plan for the season. This has vastly improved yields.
  • Making seasonal forecasts usable in Ghana and Kenya – Participatory scenario planning is helping users to understand probable opportunities and risks, although resulting advisory notices are often regarded as instructional rather than information to be weighed up.
  • The value of climate forecast information to Mbeere farmers in Kenya – The Sustainable Agricultural Livelihoods Innovations project has linked farmers to localised climate information through the Kenya Meteorological Department. User-friendly seasonal information is disseminated through workshops, but there is a need for increased radio forecasting.
  • Impacts of early warning systems in Garissa, Kenya – When the river began to rise following heavy rains, advisory notices were spread to communities via mobile phone. Vastly minimised losses compared to previous years floods have empowered the community to take further adaptive measures.
  • Dissemination of climate information using radio in Kenya – Hourly forecasts, phone-in discussions, educational advice and early warnings are transmitted through a number of RANET FM stations. 350 wind-up radios were distributed to communities, who have taken to the service enthusiastically.

This issue also contains a graphic story illustrating the value of forecasting even if exact knowledge cannot be gained. It depicts a farmer successfully growing her crops, emphasising the importance of using probability to hedge risks and make use of opportunities.
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