10 November 2012

Kenya: Locals Can Predict Climate Change - Scientist

A climate change researcher Prof Gilbert Ouma has said communities should harness indigenous knowledge to understand the changing patterns of weather.

The scientist said integration of indigenous knowledge in modern weather prediction patterns is vital in managing the effects of climate change.

Ouma made the remarks yesterday during a meeting with officials of Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Environment and the Kenya Meteorological Department. He told the civil servants the adoption of indigenous knowledge will assist in interpreting the weather forecasts.

The researcher said a six season survey on the use of indigenous knowledge on climate prediction has proved that local climate knowledge will help in food security.

A scientist from IGAD Climate Prediction and Applications Centre (ICPAC) yesterday cited lack of community structures as a hindrance to the adoption of indigenous knowledge into weather forecast.

Professor Gilbert Ouma a lead researcher in the IK said while some communities have got weather prediction patterns in place other communities do not have such in place making it difficult to integrate local knowledge on climate difficult.

The researchers said the government need to integrate indigenous knowledge on climate as part of weather prediction patterns to reduce effect of climate change. Ouma said integrating traditional weather knowledge is key to reducing effect of climate change and boost food security.

Professor Gilbert Ouma project coordinator The deliberation were made at a workshop in Kisumu to disseminate findings of the study on impact of indigenous knowledge, IK,on food security, risk reduction and community resilience to adverse weather effects such as drought and floods.

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