Stakeholders made the appeal yesterday in Dar es Salaam at the workshop to design better weather and climate information flow system thus reducing extreme weather impacts among communities.
The design of the new system is conducted under a new project dubbed DARAJA, implemented collaboratively by the Centre for Community initiatives (CCI) Resurgence (UK) and Konkuey Design Initiatives (KDI) in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam cities with funds from the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID).
“Weather and climate information is not much understood by people especially in informal settlements, so my appeal to TMA and other hazardous department is to invest more in awareness programmes, going street to street to educate the residents,” said Husna Shehonge, a stakeholder from Keko area in Ilala District, Dar es Salaam.
Mariam Hamis from Kigogo, Kinondoni District said even the language used by authorities in announcing the weather alerts is ‘complex’ making hard for vulnerable communities to understand.
She also commended Resugence and CCI for coming up with DARAJA project saying that it will help residents living in hazardous areas especially in flood prone to be well informed with timely weather and climate information.
A meteorologist from Tanzania Meteorological Agency (TMA), Elias Lipiki said the agency has been timely informing the public with accurate weather information and warnings but the challenge remains as most of them do not utilise the information well.
“We have taken their recommendations of embarking on street to street programme, this needs joint efforts with other state departments...however, the public itself has been ignoring the weather updates and forecasts,” he said.
Lipiki said that DARAJA protect would enable TMA to support citizens of Tanzania in making climate-smart decisions based on relevant, reliable and accessible weather and climate information.
He reminded members of the public to effectively use information on weather forecasts to mitigate climate change related disasters emphasising them not to ignore the forecasts for their own sake.
For his part, CCI executive director Dr Tim Ndezi said that the project aims to address vulnerability to extreme weather and climate impacts in rapidly-growing informal urban settlements.
According to him, vulnerability to extreme weather and climate impacts is increasingly located in East Africa’s’ rapidly growing informal settlements. Majority of the residents in the settlements lack basic infrastructures and services including drainage systems.
Ammy Willox from Resurgence (UK) said that in a survey conducted along Msimbazi valley in Kinondoni Municipality had showed that most of the residents in the area were receiving weather information and updates however more efforts should be directed in educating them on how to take precautions.
He said that during the study, residents had the opportunity to speak out the challenges where they mentioned lack basic infrastructures and services including drainage systems which is a major cause of floods.