The World Food Programme (WFP) funded project which kicked off in September last year, is executed through interactive radio to provide effective and valued gender equal and listener-responsive weather services via interactive radio, mobile services and listeners groups.
Apart from WFP, other partners in the project include Tanzania Meteorological Agency (TMA), Ministry of Agriculture, Regional Administration and Local Government and Global Framework for Climate Services (GFCS) partners, farming communities and pastoralists.
Speaking in Dar es Salaam on Thursday at the national stakeholders’ meeting, deputy head of program at the WFP, Juvenal Kisanga said the second phase project is part of a bigger initiative of the Global Framework for Climate Services (GFCS) Adaption Programme, which is aimed at increasing resilience of people most vulnerable to the impacts of weather and climate-related hazards.
He said that the project prioritizes the climate sensitive sectors of disaster risk reduction, food security and health. “It focuses on the provision of high-quality and reliable climate services, including downscaled, localized forecasts.”
Kisanga described the project as key tool in scaling up weather and climate services in the three targeted districts, and “this phase of the project will build on achievements made over the past four years.”
He said that the second phase project activities are also aligned with the current potential gaps in climate services.
“The idea is to ensure that climate services offered by TMA reach the end-users and radio is the powerful tool in ensuring that rural communities—farmers and livestock keepers get accurate, reliable and timely weather and climate related information and products. This will help the society to manage climate related hazards,” he said.
He added: “To us, information is key in ensuring that farmers make sound decision in overcoming climate change related challenges in their localities.”
In this phase, farmers and livestock keepers will be trained directly and through extension officers in their localities on how to get weather and climate information services offered by TMA.
“TMA also will be required to downscale the weather information, which is relevant to a small area, so that people get aware on what to do in that particular time. This will make those people to make sound decision on their farming activities.”
On the people’s response to the project, Kisanga said: “In the area of the project, the response has been good as people there people are aware of the impact of climate change. All the three districts are prone to drought. People in those areas are interested in the project because they are the victims of climate change.”
He also said: “We need to find a way of scaling up these things because it has been successfully and it needs to into other districts, where the demand is high…60 districts with this challenge. This is a cost-effective ways of addressing climate change.
Kisanga described the project as key in complementing government’s industrialization agenda, where agriculture and livestock sectors are important.
“All players need to work hard to ensure that farming and livestock sectors realize the desired dreams.”
Rex Chapota, FRI regional program manager for east and southern Africa described RFI as the only international non-profit organization dedicated exclusively for using radio as a tool for rural development in Africa.
He said that the project is geared to build capacity to provide weather and climate services in two radio stations which reach small-scale farmers and pastoralists as well as providing effective and valued gender equal and listener-responsive weather services via interactive radio, mobile services and listeners groups
“We’re also determined to strengthen the network of stakeholders to sustain and grow climate and weather services that respond to farmers’ and pastoralists’ needs,” he said, adding:
“We’re also prioritizing the climate sensitive sectors of disaster risk reduction, food security and health. It focuses on the provision of high-quality and reliable climate services, including downscaled, localized forecasts.”