Central Data Catalog

Citation Information

Type Conference Paper
Title Proceedings of the Fifth International Conference on Information and Communication Technologies and Development
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2012
URL http://pubs.cs.uct.ac.za/archive/00000831/01/p122-masinde.pdf
Despite global advancements in technology and inter-trade
volumes, Sub-Saharan Africa is the only Region where cases of
hunger have increased since 1990. Rampant and frequent droughts
are one of the major causes of this. Monumental and mostly
donor-funded projects have been mounted to counter this but with
little success. One of the latest strategies being experimented is a
community-based early warning system that seeks to integrate
indigenous knowledge with western climate science. This
initiative is informed by the realization that, though crucial,
weather forecast information provided by the national
meteorological departments has little utilization amongst smallscale
farmers. Though having generated promising results, the
integration project still faces the challenges of scaling up across
communities as well as the lack of micro-level weather data. In
this paper, we describe how the adoption of mobile phones and
wireless sensor networks technology is being used to address
these two challenges. Use of denser wireless sensor networks to
collect local weather data and mobile phones to disseminate
forecasts brings information closer to the farmers that need it
most. To ensure that the non-mystical aspects of indigenous
knowledge are portable across communities, language
technologies (part of artificial intelligence) are used in the design
of our system.

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