Welcome and thank you for sharing info on the technology for telling about weather. Hope this has benefited the people. I have enjoyed the Swahili piece though my Swahili is not strong, i have enjoyed listening!!
Hi Busi, thank you also for the update on our contributions to the discussion. And my other colleagues i am happy to read from you after contributing to week 3 of our discussion!
After hearing some piece, below is my contribution.
1) What are farmers telling you about weather forecasts and their reliability?
• Actually, the few farmers I have interacted with and other sections of people said when they hear weather forecasts on Radio and when some watch weather forecasts presented on TV, they cannot rely on it wholesomely saying such information is just to guess the situation or weather for a particular day.
• I also heard one man who said that us journalists tell them that it will rain tomorrow and it does not rain! That at times media stations highlight that it will rain in a certain place but instead it rains elsewhere! So it was as if they somehow do not fully trust such information.
2) How have you, as broadcaster, used (or not) weather reports in your broadcasts?
As a Broadcaster I have done the following:-
• I have tried to translate especially the Seasonal outlook information given by the Uganda National Meteorological Authority to several Radio stations. The seasonal outlook information is given every after three months in a year to depict the general outlook over the various regions of Uganda. This gives information when the rain is expected, what farmers should do and what local authorities should put in place to help the communities deal with eventualities or disasters and other changes. For example; if it is a dry season and animals are lacking fodder or grass to eat or water to drink, the seasonal information is given to the farmers and they are told to be keeping hay and silage which is made out of fodder or maize stalks. They are told to use take the advantage of rains and keep feed for their animals. They are taught how to keep it and when it is very dry, that is when they can use it to feed their animals. However, when there are sudden changes before the three months elapse, new information is given by the meteorological authority for update.
• We keep on updating the public and the only good thing with this; the information is translated into local languages that are best understood by the majority.
• I also engage some experts in this area to talk in the local language best understood so that when people hear an expert explaining, they can trust the information and act accordingly.
3) Do you use more traditional weather prediction methods (rainmakers etc.) and if so, how have
you incorporated those into your broadcasts? Give us examples.
I do not ignore the local predictions especially by the people themselves. They even try to explain the direction that the rain comes from for a certain area or geographical location. But when they say things have changed now since the rains no-longer come from the same direction, that it can (rain) form from another direction and then it moves to our side then it pours (raining). This interests me to catch and highlight in the context of climate change or weather. Also, I do not rely so much on the daily forecasts given for fear of being misquoted since some people said journalists tell things that are not true about weather. What I do at times, I say it might rain today according to meteorology but due to changes we experience, it might not rain. That is how i try seasonal predictions.