Weather alerts and early warnings delivered through a phone app are efficient tools to pastoralists in Kenya, a Thompson Reuters article reports.
The app uses weather station data to help pastoralists prepare for droughts and weather forecasts, the article says.
For instance, dry weather conditions forecast would allow pastoralists to transfer their livestock to other areas with available food and water. The app can point out where these areas are, saving pastoralist time and potentially their animals’ lives.
Not all the villagers have access to a smartphone, but for some who does, they will make it their task to share vital weather information with fellow pastoralists in their village and even up to distant villages.
The warming climate that is causing prolonged droughts is devastating for Kenya’s pastoralists. For most villagers, weather alerts are more than weather reports but a tool to protect their livestock and guide their decisions.
If there is an imminent drought, pastoralist will have the option to sell their livestock to reduce their losses.
If a rainy season is coming, they will prevent livestock crossings in the rivers at risk with flooding and vaccinate them against potentially fatal viruses and diseases such as Rift Valley fever.
The app is part of Amfratech’s Climate Livestock and Markets (CLIMARK) project. It aims to provide access to 300 thousand pastoralists in Kenya in the next five years with funding from relevant government institutions.
More than 500 herders have access to the free weather app since it began in 2018, and 2000 have benefitted in the community through information sharing.
To know more about Kenya’s early warning system and how it helps pastoralist adapt to extreme climate conditions, please click the link below:
Njagi, K. (2021, February 16). Smart weather app helps Kenya’s herders brace for drought. Thompson Reuters Foundation News. Retrieved from https://news.trust.org/item/20210216115104-24vb6/