Ethiopian farmers have suffered severe harvest and livestock losses due to harsh rains and climate extremes.
A United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) report released in August 2017 states that roughly 8.5 million Ethiopians required food aid in the second half of the year.
According to the Thomas Reuters Foundation, an initiative has been set up to help Ethiopian farmers and herders with access to weather information, which will help them to make informed decisions and absorb climate shocks.
Roughly 25 automatic weather stations across Ethiopia’s Afar, Somali and Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples’ (SNNP) regions have been set up to supply weather data to the necessary government agencies and local communities.
This data will allow farmers and herders to predict the availability of water, as well as grass for grazing.
BRACING FOR CLIMATE CHANGE
According to Getu Guleya, chief administrator of Dereshe district, weather vitality is challenging.
The initiative is led by agencies Farm Africa and Mercy Crops, and forms part of the Building Resilience and Adaptation to Climate Extremes and Disasters (BRACED) programme, which aims to prevent increased competition for resources and land.
The programme aims to assist people to become more resilient to climate extremes, and to improve integration of disaster risk reduction and climate adaption methods into development approaches.
Click here for more information on BRACED projects.
According to Tarekegn Kareto, a farmer from Ethiopia, his country is vulnerable to extreme weather conditions, making it very difficult to know what to plant and when.
The Ethiopian National Meteorology Agency (NMA) will use weather data to share local information on air temperature, rainfall and wind direction, and will produce regular climate reports. The forecasts will be aired on radio stations.
The programme will also encourage farmers and herders to expand their sources of income and to manage their livestock better.
“With timely climate information, you can prevent animals dying by stocking up on feed ahead of drought, for example,” said Tsegaye Ketema, head of developmental meteorology at NMA.
According to the organisation’s National Meteorology Outlook, the upcoming bega season (October to January) is expected to bring normal to below normal rainfall across central, northeastern, eastern and northern Ethiopia.
Normal rainfall conditions are expected in the western and southwestern parts of the country.
Also read: Seasonal forecast for Ethiopia
* The Thomson Reuters Foundation, an arm of Thomson Reuters, covers humanitarian news, women’s rights, trafficking, property rights, as well as climate change and resilience.