An Overview Of Our Solution
- Population Impacted
- Continent: Africa
P.O. Box 5319
4,042 sq. km
Local resources the community depends on, and for what purpose
Local threats to resources
Level of sensitivity
Level of adaptive capacity
The innovation is ?translating the weather forecast into local languages and timely dissemination?. The weather forecast is interpreted into simple advisory messages per sector, translated into local languages and disseminated to rural communities for facilitating their decision making processes related to farming, heath, education, disasters and ecosystem management. The long term goal of this initiative is to: increase the usage of weather and climate information in decisions making processes by end users through informed early warning for climate change adaptation, risk reduction and mitigation in Uganda Specific Objectives i) To strengthen the capacity and coordination at national level in interpreting the weather and climate information implications per sector ii) To strengthen the capacity of district level , farmers, communities and local institutions to interpret and understand the implications of the weather and climate on their livelihoods to allow them make informed decisions iii) To support coordination and participation of stakeholders to create awareness on importance of climate prediction products and information to guide adaptation, risk reduction and mitigation activities How did the innovation start? Uganda like most developing countries relies on regional (Greater Horn of Africa forecast) down scaled weather information. Uganda Department of Meteorology (UMD), Ministry of Water and Environment is the only government department / institution that is mandated by Government of Uganda for establishing and maintaining weather and climate observing stations, collection, analysis, and production of weather and climate information to support social and economic development of the country In 2010, ACCRA conducted a community based research on adaptive capacity to climate change in Uganda in three representative districts (Bundibugyo, Kotido, and Gulu) using ACCRA adaptive capacity Framework. The study revealed that community in rural areas such as the farmers, fishers, livestock herders and business have not benefited from the seasonal weather forecasts provided by the National Meteorology Department. Those who get the weather forecasts sometimes receive them late after the season has started, so it does not help and communities resort to traditional and historical means of predicting weather changes, which is also proving unreliable in the face of changing climate. The local community leaders expressed that the weather forecast terminologies were also complicated, which could not be interpreted into meaningful advisories for farmers. Communities demanded for accessible and easily interpretable weather information to make informed decisions and responses for their futures. In 2012 ACCRA extended to Kitgum district community, the same finding ( poor access to useful weather forecast) was confirmed, in two separate studies ; the district capacity gap analysis study ( 2012) and the community assessment on the impact of weather forecast in decision making processes (2012). Include information on how the most vulnerable stakeholder groups in the community were included in the decision making process Based on these studies and recommendations from the communities, the initiative for interpreting and translation of weather forecast into local languages was started in 2012 June. Communities suggested a combination of local dissemination channels which are being used to ensure that all categories can access the weather forecast. For example women preferred dissemination through community meetings, and churches since they have limited access to radios which are owned by men whose interests may not necessarily be weather information. ? Include partners/organizations who were involved in supporting the solution and their roles. The Uganda Meteorology Department is the leading implementation agency in collaboration with various stakeholders including experts from agriculture, water, climate change, energy, disaster management, health, etc) , media, research, non government organizations and academia experts
Community/Social Indicators used to measure benefit
- Increased number of organisations disseminating the weather forecast - - Increased awareness and support for adaptation activities Increased accuracy of the weather forecast information
Funds for paying for the radio programmes and dissemination activities - meeting costs - costs on improved variety
Ecological Indicators used to measure benefit
- improved food security - Men pass on the weather forecast information though sometimes distorted - improved income
What were/are the challenges your community faced in implementing this solution?
sources of food - sources of income
Describe the community-based process used to develop the solution including tools and processes used
Tthe capacity of individuals to respond to climate variability and climate change remains generally low. Due to the impacts of war, the asset base of the community is poor and poverty levels are very high. The community is now depending on natural resources for survival which is degrading the ecosystem further. In terms of knowledge and information, the community has not been accessing climate and weather information to aid their planning and decision making, until this innovation started, which has tried to share seasonal forecasts. The other challenge for adaptation was on institutions and entitlements, the capacity gap analysis conducted revealed that the District lacked information and skills to address climate change issues. Even the non government organisations working in the area were doing development work that was not focusing on adaptation, though a few were indirectly or directly working on activities that protect the ecosystem but with no focus on building the adaptive capacity of the community. The projects done and the mode of information is short term and does not promote flexible and forward looking decision making which also limits adaptive capacity of the community. All the above, coupled with lack of innovation in regard to addressing climate change vulnerabilities leaves communities helpless even when they have institutions, some assets and establishes structures for information dissemination and planning.
Climate hazard of concern
How does your solution reduce the exposure of and buffer/protect the ecosystem affected?
Changing temperatures and weather patterns
How has your solution increased the capacity of the ecosystem to adapt to potential climate changes?
The soil management systems have reduced soil erosion and improved productivity as well as maintaining micro organisms important for soil nutrition. Reduced bush burning reduces the destruction of biodiversity in the grasslands and also improves soil fertility.
How does your solution reduce the exposure of and buffer/protect the communities affected?
The emerging activities like tree planting, soil and water management with communities that receive timely weather forecast, have already demonstrated less negative impacts during dry spells, the farmers are able to maintain their expected crop harvests. Also during heavy rains, the floods exhibit less damages, thus improving the capacity of the ecosystem
How does your solution reduce the sensitivity of the communities affected?
How has your solution increased the capacity of local communities to adapt to potential climate changes?
Communities have testified better disaster preparedness because the advisories help them to prepare and reduce the impact. One testimony was about digging trenches around gardens to avoid washing away of crops during heavy rains, moving children to safe places as rain intensifies and many others. Increased income from farming activities than when they were not receiving information. The weather forecast information helps them make decisions on when to plant early, harvest early, and decide on the type of crops to grow. This has helped improve crop yield thus increasing their income Food security has also improved, because of having the information before, some sections of the community testified that they have strated growing new crops like sweet potatoes which mature quickly and yet in the past they never used do well but due to weather changes, they can now plant them.
Can this solution be replicated elsewhere?
The challenges encountered include; ? low dissemination rate ? so far only 4 districts are being reached out of 112 districts in Uganda, ? Undeveloped user feedback systems, - the end users have not yet provided regular feedback ? Language coverage still low, so far 7 languages are covered yet Uganda has about 52 local dialects ? Field assessments on the weather forecast are on small scale ? currently finance Measures taken to improve dissemination of weather forecast; ? Meteorology has expanded on the dissemination channels by using strategic government institutions and CSOs with wide constituencies e.g ULGA,( ULGA has contacts of all CAOS, Chairpersons LC5 and RDCs in all Districts) MAAIF, NAADS secretariat (Zonal coordinators, District coordinators and service providers network ) and networks like Climate Action Network-U (CAN-U) who can in turn share with lower structures to boost information flow. ? Meteorology Department has planned to establish a workable two- way feedback system to all users ? Other Development Partners have been asked at different national platforms to support and disseminate weather information to reach the public ? Meteorology Department has planned to integrate of field community assessments to capture impacts of weather forecast dissemination - in the existing early warning assessments i.e food security assessments, disaster mapping ? ACCRA Consortium + Meteorology field assessment tool for weather forecast impact has been recommended to be adopted as a national tool and that should be reviewed by a larger team and integrated in government and development monitoring tools ? Meteorology Department is slowly soliciting extra funding to support the initiative for example to increase on the languages and dissemination channels including mobile phones.