Where bird’s chirp tells of good, rich or bad farming season.

by Sophie Mbugua

Change of weather is not a new phenomenon. From the time in memorial, communities understood how the weather patterns changed. They observed behaviours in plants, insects, birds, people, the astronomic, and cultural beliefs that said it was time to plant. A bird chirping sound or a cow dance would tell farmers if the season would be good, rich or bad.  They warned of too much or little rains that would be late, or early.

Indigenous knowledge is critical for communities to adapt to climate change. But over the years, climate change effects like floods and droughts have become unpredictable and frequent. Environmental degradation due to human activities has also interfered with the natural environment hence threatening the indigenous knowledge relied upon for ages.

Papilio Demodocus or citrus butterfly follage at the forest

Papilio Demodocus or citrus butterfly foliage at the Kaya forest in Kilifi Kenya

For this episode, the Africa climate conversations visited Mbeere, in Embu, Eastern Kenya. We met up with Peter Ngoci, an indigenous weather forecaster and project manager at Information Technology and Indigenous Knowledge with intelligence (ITIKI).

Ngoci has been working with communities to observe and document indigenous climate knowledge. This information is integrated with the county government’s Kenya meteorological department’s observed weather information, packaged into weather advisories, then disseminated to different sectors, including agriculture, health, and security.

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