NATIONAL-SCALE IMPACT-BASED FORECASTING OF FLOOD RISK IN UGANDA (NIMFRU)
The Walker Institute, ECOTRUST, Uganda National Meteorological Authority (UNMA), ETOP Radio and more
11/2018 to 04/2020
Flood-prone rural communities in Eastern Uganda
‘Acautu Akoriok’ or ‘Farmers See Light’, broadcast on ETOP Radio, FM 99.4
NIMFRU is a multi-partnership project which is engaging with researchers, policy makers, local councils and local farmers to improve the targeting, relevance and communications of flood warning and response in Uganda. LYF’s role is to pilot Farmers' Voice Radio for this purpose in flood prone Katawki District, in partnership with local conservation NGO ECOTRUST, UNMA and Ateso language radio station, ETOP FM.
As usual, content for the weekly radio broadcasts is being recorded with a small group of farmers representing a cross-section of three focus communities, who together have identified the following objectives that they would like the programmes to achieve to reduce flood-related vulnerabilities:
Increase crop and livestock productivity and quality
Conserve natural resources (in particular water and trees)
Improve health and nutrition
Promote viable alternative livelihoods
In addition, monthly Farmer Agri-Met Village Advisory Clinics (FAMVACs) are being run in each community by UNMA as a conversation space involving district officials and up to 100 local farmers. The FAMVACs both draw on and inform the radio programmes, providing the opportunity for a wider group of farmers to get involved in the discussions and advice broadcast.
The first episode of ‘Acuatu Akoriok’ was broadcast on 30th September 2019. When asked about his expectations for the project, Agricultural Officer for Ngariam Sub-County, Stephen Ojakol, commented:
“If farmers are able to get that information regarding the weather then they will be able to plan their farming activities… and be prepared for the hazards that may come. [On the radio] the farmers will be able to share ideas and improve their farming activities where necessary.”
Picture: farmer listener group in Agule village, Ngariam Sub-County, Katakwi District