ALIN Awarded 2011 Access to Learning Award by Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

James Nguo, ALIN Regional Director, rejoices after the announcement in San Juan, Puerto Rico by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Photo: © BMGF

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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Climate information services to help in decision making

Weather and climate have significant impacts on many aspects of people’s lives and particularly amongst populations whose livelihoods are directly dependent on natural resources. Reliable daily, weekly, monthly and seasonal information, as well as warnings and alerts on extreme weather events, can support decision making at many levels, within households and communities as well as at sub-county, county and national government levels. Information about longer term trends in climate variability and change is also vital to support major investments in infrastructure, including dams and roads, as well as conservation of the natural environment. 

Kenya Meteorological Services (KMS) aims to develop and deliver accessible, timely, relevant information about the weather and climate which can support decision making at all levels and time frames. These Climate Information Services (CIS) include both information about the weather and climate together with useful advice on what actions people should take to deal with the possible impacts on their lives. The development of effective CIS depends on continuous and ongoing engagement with the wide range of people using this information. 

Agricultural, Livestock, Forestry and Fisheries officers, provincial administration officer, NGOS, CBO, FBO from Mumoni Hills,   Kitui Central, Mutitu and Endau hills, Migwani, Mutha hills, Tseikuru, Kyuso, Mwingi, Ngomeni, Nguni and Nuu, Mutito and Mwitika, and Mutomo and Ikutha, benefited from the 3-day training of trainers (T0T) for those people who have been identified as primary intermediaries to extend the reach of climate information within their counties.  

Primary intermediaries are Representatives of relevant bodies and institutions at the sub-county or equivalent level who will be the primary intermediary contacts for County Director of Meteorology.
These people must be willing to receive and communicate SMS, train, support and collate feedback from secondary intermediaries. 

At the end of the training, the participants will be able to:
  1. Receive, appreciate and effectively communicate climate information in a language and format that can be easily understood by the communities with whom they live and work;
  2. Support appropriate application and provide feedback on the use and impact of using climate information; and
  3. Train secondary intermediaries at ward level
The current initiative is being developed as part of the Adaptation Consortium which aims to support the devolution and decentralization process in Kenya though the introduction of County Adaptation Funds and the development and provision of improved Climate Information Services. The Adaptation Consortium is working across five Arid and Semi Arid Lands counties: Kitui, Makueni, Isiolo, Wajir and Garissa. 

In this pilot project Kenya meteorological service has been mandated to provide meteorological, hydrological and related services in support of relevant national needs, including safety of life and protection of property, safeguarding the environment and contributing to sustainable development. 
In line with the process of devolution and decentralization, KMS has established County Meteorological Offices (CMOs) in each County. Each County Meteorological Office is headed by a County Director of Meteorological Services (CDM).  Amongst other areas, the CDM is responsible for:
  • Developing CIS which can best support the decision making needs of the County’s principal livelihood groups and County planning processes.
  • Downscaling of national weather forecasts and climate outlooks to the County level;
  • Issuing of public warnings on hazards and extremes related to weather, climate and air pollution.
All SMS weather forecasts will express information in the following order:

Sub-county + degree of probability + type of weather


Thursday, July 3, 2014

Community radio to facilitate information disemination in Kyuso

By John Njue
Ngura community radio members and stakeholders held a leaders sensitization meeting at Ideal Hotel – Mwingi on 26th and 27th June, 2014 to sensitize leaders on the concept of RANET programme, highlights achievements of Ngura Fm, Deliberate on challenges and obstacles of establishing Ngura Fm and to Deliberate on the way forward on Ngura Fm.

Ngura Fm is a proposed community radio that will be established on a 2 acre land given by the government in Kyuso. Kenya meteorological services (KMS) through RANET programme- Kenya has promised to provide the community with broadcasting equipment and weather measuring equipments and so the mandate of the community and stakeholders is to construct the station, recruit the community reporters and managing the station.

The name Ngura was derived from the genre of Kamba language spoken in the area. It came out that the language spoken in Machakos, Kitui and Makueni is different from the language spoken in the larger Mwingi zone. This is the language that will be used for broadcasting the participants were informed.

The meeting was graced by the Sub-County Administrator in Kyuso sub-county, Mr. Cosmas Musee Mwanzia. He started by the members for find it important to start a local station and urged the stakeholders to actualize the plan because the FM station will ease dissemination of important information even to the interior community and to another target group that had never been targeted by other media. Mr. Musee said that the fact that the weather forecast of the area is generated from Makindu weather station which is several kilometers might be a cause of poor crop and animal production in the area. “If these weather data is collected and disseminated in kyuso, it will have positive impacts on food security” said Musee.

The community radio is aimed at disseminating development of the sub-county as well as empowering the community including and not limited to market information. The community radio compound will also be installed with weather station which is aimed at giving accurate weather forecast which is expected to be more accurate that the one at Makindu weather station which is approximately 308km from kyuso.
The station is hoped to ease dissemination of practical important information even to the interior where the level of illiteracy is very high. One of the indicator that the radio will be of much help is that, there will be Community participation /ownership, it’s not for profit nature, it will includes minorities and marginalized populations e.g. youth and disabled, it will use the local language (Kamba) e.t.c.

The meeting was attended by officials from Sub-county administration- County, county government of Kitui, deputy county commissioner, assistant county commissioner, National drought Management Authority (NDMA), Constituency development fund- Mwingi North, members of county assembly- Kyuso Ward, Murky (NGO), Arid lands information network and other community leaders