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Adapting to climate change: missing the rain?

'Before, we used to be able to predict the rains by the time of year, and see the signs. Now we can't.' 

James Kheri in Malawi loves his two children. But having enough food to feed them depends on being able to predict the weather. Like millions of farmers in Malawi, he is no longer able to rely on the weather.

James Kheri receives mobile weather forecasts in Malawi

The rains are unpredictable; they can come too heavy and all at once. Dry spells ruin crops or stunt the growth of young plants.

Small-scale farmers like James, are clear that they are dealing day in, day out with the impacts of climate change.

  • 'You need to plant knowing that it will rain in the next two or three days. If it doesn’t rain when you need it to, you can lose your seed.'

Mobile text weather solutions

The ‘Enhancing Community Resilience Programme’ (or ECRP for short) is helping people like James to overcome these challenges.

Every week, he receives a text message containing local weather forecasts in his mother tongue.

And he passes the message on to the more than 500 households in his community: 'When I get the text message, I write it down on some paper and put it on a tree or in the local shop so people can see it.'

This year, James had a bumper harvest with forty 50kg bags of maize: three times as much as his father in law who ignored the forecast.

 

A million ways to tackle climate change

There are a million ways that people are using innovation to cope with the effects of climate change in their communities.

And there are a million things we can do now not only help to farmers like James, but also to reduce climate change and its effects, whether it’s consuming less energy in our daily lives, supporting our sisters and brothers across the world to deal with the consequences, or urging our political leaders to act now – the steps you take do count.

Act now >Please call on our politicians to take action on climate change.

 


 

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