Agricultural communities in Ethiopia have their own indigenous means of climate forecasting based on observations of various climatic factors like wind direction, variations in plant foliage and studying the behaviour of birds and wild animals.
However, the traditional forecasts failed to predict drought in 2015 leading to a devastating loss of animal life and livelihood. Communities also paid no attention to official radio broadcasts warning of the drought.
The BRACED programme has helped build the confidence of communities in the climate information being shared over the radio and made it more accessible and relevant to them.
Age was a major factor. With young people showing the biggest increase (and greatest likelihood) in using climate information, followed by adults and elderly people, who were significantly less likely.
The gender gap remained. Both men and women increased their likelihood of accessing climate information, but women still lagged behind by the end of the programme.
In terms of income, poor people showed a greater increase in accessing scientific weather information than those who were less poor.
We didn’t take any action based on the advice from the radio during this last drought. It was after the drought that we started to really listen and heed its advice. We are alive today by the grace of God.
Next time El Nino hits, Fatuma will be prepared.
A mountaintop solar charging shop run by Tamiru Urmale and his coworkers in Konso, southern Ethiopia is helping farmers keep their phones switched on.
Ready to receive vital climate information at any time, day or night.
Read more about building resilience to climate change in Ethiopia and Burkina Faso with DataStories.