The East Africa Field Director for the Trans African Hydro-Meteorological Observatory (TAHMO), Zachary Dunn, recently shared the news of his team’s selection as a winning team in the Global Resilience Challenge and discussed their resilience solution. Dunn gave a summary of what the team and their partners are planning to do with their Challenge funding:
TAHMO, together with our coalition of partners – Earth Networks, Human Network International, the African Centre for Lighting and Electromagnetics, and the Climate Change Adaptation Innovation – proposed an early warning system to the GRP to help fisherman on Lake Victoria respond to severe storms. Beginning in Uganda, we proposed the following system:
- A network of approximately 100 automatic weather stations will detect lightning and observe other climate variables such as precipitation, wind speed, temperature, and barometric pressure.
- The resultant data will be used to produce forecasts, including severe storm predictions.
- Automated alerts will be sent (free of charge) to fisherman or other people near the lake in the event of a severe storm prediction.
- Due to low rates of smartphone adoption, alerts will be available over a flexible platform that includes voice, SMS, USSD, and radio. Messages will also be available in multiple languages including English and Luganda.
- Fisherman who receive the alerts will have a greater chance of getting to safety before the storm hits, thereby reducing the death toll on the lake.
You can read more about the team’s experience participating in the Global Resilience Challenge and follow Dunn’s description of their work on his blog.
The winning team’s project title is “Meteorological Early Warning Systems to Build Resilience to Acute Climate Induced Shocks.” TAHMO will empower local communities and vulnerable agriculturists across Uganda with an innovative early warning weather system for severe weather across the drought prone Cattle Corridor, the accident prone areas of Lake Victoria, Kyoga, and Wamala, and Uganda’s flash flood prone highlands. Leveraging the prevalence of cell phones across the country, the team will partner with mobile operators and the Ugandan National Meteorological Authority to provide low cost, on-demand access to weather alerts to more than 16 million Ugandan cell phone users and free access to all 8 million Airtel subscribers.