Ugandan farmers drawn into ICT use in climate change sustainability project

Climate Change Adaptation and ICT (CHAI) project that is targeted at facilitating water solution during dry seasons in Uganda was launched earlier this month in the capital Kampala.

CHAI will use ICT-based techniques and meteorological data to ensure conducive farming environment exists in Uganda throughout the year.
The ICT tools will be used for collection and dissemination of information to make sure the the data is reliable, timely, accurate and appropriate for planning on water-related climate change.
The project targets to boost agricultural, environmental management, market and meteorological information for herdsmen in Uganda’s ‘cattle corridor’.
Makerere University Agricultural Research Institute research assistant Daniel Ninsiima said the use of ICT will empower pastoralists with varied adaptation methods for survival during harsh climatic periods .
He added that the information should be disseminated to farmers through local languages by way of voice calls instead of via SMS.
Corrido, at 84,000 square kilometres from south-west to north-east of Uganda, is the mostly affected region, according to the government, yet it is the backbone of cattle farming
It has more than 12 million people and close to 60 percent of the country’s 7 million cattle. The area is however ranked as one of the African regions hardest hit by climate change.
US-based FHI 360-Satellife, director of programmes Berhane Gebru said farmers in the region will witness a transition, unlike in the past when they used to sell their cattle’s during dry spell.
Chebet Maikut of the Ministry of Water and Environment’s Climate Change Unit said the government’s initiative would offer knowledge on climate change pattern, which is possible through ICT .
He noted that through the project, more weather stations would be established intended to strengthen data collection strictly for local weather and water.
Funded by Canada’s International Development Research Centre for implementation, CHAI will cost an estimated US$ 600,000.

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