Challenges and Good Practices on Borana Indigenous Weather Forecasting Service

Challenges and Good Practices on Borana Indigenous Weather Forecasting Service

Desalegn Yayeh AYAL (Ethiopia) 

Debre Berhan University, Ethiopia

Good practices BICFS

Indigenous weather forecast is the main source of meteorological information for the Borana herders since time immemorial. The Borana herders forecast and share weather information using well organized cultural networks. The Urgi Elaltus and Uchus observe, interpret and communicate weather information to community elders and heads of Geda who then disseminate it by summoning people for urgent meetings. Alternatively, dissemination of weather information takes place near water points, market places and settlement areas.

Based on the disseminated forecast information the Borana herders take coping and adaptation measures such as strengthening area enclosure through community bylaw, saving water and grass, preparing livestock medicine, storing hay, migrating with animals (water and pasture), destocking animals, reducing expenditure and changing schedules of social and cultural festivities such as wedding.

Challenges for BICFS

The precision and credibility of all modes of traditional weather forecast steadily declined and led to repeated faulty predictions. Poor documentation and knowledge transfer system, influence of religion and modern education, premature death of forecast experts and expansion of alcoholism were identified as causes undermining the vitality of traditional weather forecast.

Attention to the concerned bodies

Before traditional weather forecasting completely disappears, a remedial action should be carried out to prevent irreversible loss of intangible cultural heritage. It seems high time to prepare exit strategy for traditional weather forecasting, lest herders would be victimized by unreliable weather information.

Traditional wisdom could serve as a starting point to scientifically study the relationship between various signs and implied weather outcomes.

 

Bio

I possess my PhD in Geography and Environmental Studies (with specialization on Climate Change Adaptation and Vulnerability Assessment), MA in Geography and Environmental Studies (with specialization in Water Resource Management).

Map for Sustainable land and water management Planning and Monitoring tool users’ guide (Co-author).

Sustainable Land and Water management trainers’ manual (Co-author).

Institutional assessment for climate change adaptation, Didahara, Borena, southern Ethiopia. ILRI Project Report. Nairobi, Kenya, International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) (principal investigator).

Governance Dimensions of Climate Change Adaptation Methodology for Landscape-Level Institutional Assessments. Nairobi, Kenya, International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) (Co-author).

Climate Variability, the Proliferation and Expansion of Major Livestock Diseases in East Gojjam, Northwestern Ethiopia. International Journal of Global Warming in press. (Principal investigator).

Comparative Assessment of the Climate Vulnerability among Lowland Pastoralists and Highland Farmers in Ethiopia. Submitted to International Journal of Applied Geography. (Principal investigator).

Opportunities and Challenges of Indigenous Biotic Weather Forecasting Among the Borena Herders of Southern Ethiopia. International Journal of SpringerPluse, in press. (Principal investigator).

Indigenous Knowledge for Seasonal Weather and Climate Forecasting across East Africa. Poster presentation in Paris. (Co-author).

Challenges and Prospects of Indigenous Astrology-Based Weather Forecasting System among the Borana, Southern Ethiopia. Submitted to International Journal of Climatic Change. (Principal investigator).

Principal investigator for ongoing Rangeland Rehabilitation project pilot test and assessment of climate variability and extreme related newly emerging livestock diseases.

Short term courses such as Climate change (UNFCCC), Climate resilient Development (World Bank Institute), Climate change Smart Agriculture (FAO), Natural Disaster Risk Management (World Bank Institute).

More than 15 years work experience (7 years as university lecturer teaching courses Climatology, Natural Resource Management, Geomorphology and Biogeography).

Short term courses such as Climate change (UNFCCC), Climate resilient Development (World Bank Institute), Climate change Smart Agriculture (FAO), Natural Disaster Risk Management (World Bank Institute).

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