Tag: East Africa

Climate mapping tools support resilient development in East Africa

Yohana Tesfamariam Tekeste reports from a workshop on climate resilient development held in August in Zanzibar. In 2005, the International Research Institute for Climate and Society published its assessment of key gaps in the use of climate information for health, agriculture, water and other sectors in countries across Africa. The results from the report were […]

Tackling Sleeping Sickness in Maasai Communities

Powerful new tool helps rural Tanzanians reduce their exposure to tsetse flies and the deadly disease they carry. Pietro Ceccato remembers his first trip three years ago to a Maasai village located a two hour’s drive south of Arusha, Tanzania. He was there with a team of public health researchers to learn more about the […]

Malaria risk increases in Ethiopian highlands as temperatures climb

The highlands of Ethiopia are home to the majority of the country’s population, the cooler climate serving as a natural buffer against malaria transmission. New data now show that increasing temperatures over the past 35 years are eroding this buffer, allowing conditions more favorable for malaria to begin climbing into highland areas. That is the […]

ENACTS Maprooms for Malaria Control

Climate data and tools for malaria control in Africa – the ENACTS initiative By Madeleine Thomson Public health policy makers and practitioners are increasingly concerned about the  impact that climate, environmental and social changes might have on the effectiveness of current and future vector-borne disease control and elimination programs. Yet, while climate change adaptation programs […]

New Climate Data Transforms Insurance Projects in Africa

By Dan Osgood, Lead Scientist, IRI Financial Instruments Sector Team Small farms are vulnerable to climate risk, but most smallholder farmers around the world don’t have access to insurance and other financial tools to manage fluctuations in climate. Over the past decade we’ve put a great deal of effort into a new kind of insurance–index insurance–that […]

World Met Day: Partnering with national meteorological services to support farmers in Africa

The below is an excerpt from a blog written by IRI staff members James Hansen, Alison Rose and Dannie Dinh and originally appearing on the CCAFS website. On World Meteorological Day, we highlight how CCAFS and partners are supporting national meteorological services in African countries to provide actionable local climate information to farmers. The important contributions […]

Local beats global when it comes to national climate services in Rwanda

By Dannie Dinh, James Hansen, Floribert Vuguziga, Madeleine Thomson, Yohana Tekeste, and Aisha Owusu This post originally appeared on the web site of the CGIAR Research Program on Climate, Agriculture and Food Security. Climate data gaps are an obstacle to providing useful services for smallholder farmers Climate information—and its use for farming decision making, index-based […]

New Climate Data in Zambia Unlocks Insurance Opportunities

In mid September, IRI staff helped launch an innovative new data platform in Lusaka, Zambia that combines satellite rainfall estimates with the country’s existing network of rain gauges. The platform, developed with the Zambia Meteorological Department and through funding from NASA, is the latest to come out of IRI’s Enhancing National Climate Services (ENACTS) initiative […]

25,000 Insured Ethiopian Farmers Receive Payments for El Niño Droughts

By Daniel Osgood More than 25,000 insured farming families in Ethiopia have received payments for crop loss and damages after a year of devastating drought caused in large part by the 2015 El Niño. The farmers purchased the insurance through the R4 Rural Resilience Initiative [latest report], run by the World Food Program and Oxfam America. […]

New Climate Services Program in Rwanda Aims to Reach One Million Farmers

The Rwanda Climate Services for Agriculture project, officially launched on #WorldMetDay 2016, will benefit nearly one million farmers over the next three years and reshape national food-security planning for the long term. (Kigali, Rwanda) 23 March 2016. To build a more climate-resilient agriculture sector, the Rwandan government and partners are taking action to provide nearly […]

New Research: El Niño Teleconnections in the Sahel & East Africa

Pradipta Parhi, a graduate research assistant in Columbia’s Department of Earth and Environmental Engineering published a paper in the February 2016 issue of the Journal of Climate. The study examines why two areas of Africa – the Sahel and eastern equatorial Africa – tend to experience drier- and wetter-than-normal rainy seasons, respectively, during El Niño. He is […]

2015 El Niño: Notes for the East African Malaria Community

UPDATE: This publication was originally produced by IRI in June 2015. It has been updated monthly, and the October 2015 version is now available here [PDF].  Climate is one of many variables that influence where and when malaria outbreaks occur. Precipitation, humidity and temperature affect the development and survival of mosquitoes, with temperature also affecting the malaria parasites carried […]

VIDEOS: A Host of Visitors

A walk through the International Research Institute for Climate and Society is often punctuated by the sounds of French, Spanish and other languages drifting through the halls. Our international staff contributes to this, but usually it’s a sign that we are hosting visitors for training and collaborations. Despite the increasing online connectedness of our world, […]

Insurance and Adaptation: Farmer Driven Opportunities (Video)

The Financial Instruments Sector team at the International Research Institute for Climate and Society works with farmers, development organizations and agencies, insurance companies and other research institutes to design insurance products that are tailored to local and regional climate risks and economic systems. With the help of the Center for Research on Environmental Decisions, we’ve produced this video […]

El Niño and Global Health: Latest Bulletin

The Public Health group at the International Research Institute for Climate and Society has posted a new update of its bulletin on El Niño, focused on providing information to assist health planners and practitioners concerned with malaria in Eastern Africa. Emerging El Niño Conditions: Notes for the East African Malaria Community, takes into account IRI’s latest forecasts. As with previous bulletins, IRI […]

Data for Malaria Decision Making in Africa

Earlier this year, the International Research Institute for Climate and Society and Columbia Global Centers | Africa  supported a two-day meeting of the Roll Back Malaria Partnership in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania called “Strengthening National Climate Data and Information for Malaria Decision Making in Africa”. The meeting, held August 4-5, provided an overview of existing […]

Field Notes: Climate, Health and the Maasai

IRI’s Pietro Ceccato recently attended the 2nd Capacity Building Workshop for the World Health Organization TDR/IDRC research initiative on Population Health Vulnerabilities to Vector-Borne Diseases: Increasing Resilience under Climate Change Conditions in Africa, held at the Nelson Mandela University in Arusha, Tanzania. He shares his observations here. Earlier this year, I attended a workshop in Arusha, Tanzania […]

Seeing More with Satellites: Improving Insurance for African Farmers

By Bristol Mann and Radost Stanimirova A group of climate scientists, economists and remote sensing experts from the International Research Institute for Climate and Society and NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center are collaborating to help solve a longstanding issue in the development of agriculture insurance programs in Africa: how to generate enough quality environmental data […]

New paper: Wild card of decadal variability when simulating future climate scenarios

What follows is the first half of a post written by IRI climate scientist Arthur Greene for the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security web site. Greene describes his work to understand how year-to-year and decadal climate fluctuations can act to either enhance or mitigate the effects of climate change. Follow the […]

Interns Explore Epidemic, Crop Yield Predictions for IRI, NASA

Andrew Kruczkiewicz sits in front of his laptop, examining a map of South Sudan. The map shows precipitation across the country in varying shades of green. Kruczkiewicz is comparing maps of rainfall and other climate variables with epidemiological information over the same area. He and his research partner, Alexandra Sweeney, are both interns for NASA’s DEVELOP […]

IRI@AGU: Inundation Detection for Public Health is “Far-out”

This post is the third in a series of Q&As with scientists from the International Research Institute for Climate and Society who will be presenting their work at the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco December 9 to 13. Climate variability and change is an important facet of public health studies of infectious […]

NASA and IRI: Bringing ‘Space to Village’ in East Africa

IRI and NASA have been working together for the past five years on developing products derived from remotely sensed images for monitoring climate and environmental factors that affect the transmission of vector-borne diseases. Their collaboration has expanded recently through new activities with SERVIR Africa, NASA’s partnership with the U.S. Agency for International Development and the Regional […]

Insuring 37,000 Rwandan Farmers Against Drought

Index insurance can lower the cost of insurance, allowing smallholder farmers to buy insurance that can help them withstand the impacts of bad years and risk making productive investments in good years. A key component of index insurance is historical data – often temperature or rainfall data – to use as a basis for creating an index that determines when insurance payouts […]

Poor Ethiopian Farmers Receive “Unprecedented” Insurance Payout

Oxfam America and The Rockefeller Foundation announced a weather index insurance payout of unprecedented scale directly to poor farmers. Thanks to a groundbreaking new program that relies on advanced satellite technology, more than 12,200 farmers in 45 villages in Northern Ethiopia will benefit from drought protection. As a result of this year’s drought conditions each […]

Is Drought In East Africa The New Normal?

Earlier this month, we wrote about a report from the US Agency for International Development’s Famine and Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET) that warns the Horn of Africa may once again face food shortages because of a poorly performing rainy season. In January, climate scientists Bradfield Lyon and David Dewitt from the International Research Institute for Climate and Society […]

Climate and Food Security in the Horn of Africa

The latest report from the US Agency for International Development’s Famine and Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET) warns that the March-to-May rainy season for the Horn of Africa, also known as the “long rains”, is likely to perform poorly again this year. The agency has called for humanitarian organizations to “immediately implement programs to protect livelihoods […]

More Food Insecurity Expected in Horn of Africa

The latest report from the US Agency for International Development’s Famine and Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET) warns that the March-to-May rainy season for the Horn of Africa–also known as the “long rains”–is likely to perform poorly again this year. The agency is calling for humanitarian organizations to “immediately implement programs to protect livelihoods and household […]

A model for improving climate services in Africa

In developed countries, we are accustomed to having access to long and detailed records on weather and climate conditions, demographics, disease incidence and many other types of data. Decision makers use this information for a variety of societal benefits: they spot trends, fine-tune public health systems and optimize crop yields, for example. Researchers use it […]

East Africa Drought Is “Exceptional”

In this video interview, IRI’s chief climate scientist, Simon Mason, explains how truly intense the drought in East Africa has been compared to other droughts. In many parts of Kenya…the amount of rain that has been received is less 25% of normal, in some areas it’s less than 5%. To put those figures in context…much […]

Insuring Against Drought

In our latest video interview, research economist Dan Osgood discusses index insurance and how it is helping some poor rural communities reduce hardships caused by drought in East Africa: These products are becoming available to people for the first time at larges scales just this year. Given the difficulties of these [two] years, the farmers […]

The Role of Drought in the Horn of Africa Famine

Let’s get this out of the way. The current famine in the Horn of Africa isn’t caused by drought. Rather, a complex mix of societal and political factors created a dangerous situation.The worst drought in 60 years is what pushed that situation over the edge into a humanitarian crisis. However, just as these social factors were […]

Leaders in index insurance expand their commitments in Ethiopia

Swiss Re, Oxfam America, The Rockefeller Foundation and Columbia University’s International Research Institute for Climate and Society announced a joint Commitment to Action at the Clinton Global Initiative 2009 meeting in New York, held from September 22 to 25. The collaboration is aimed at helping communities most vulnerable to climate variability and change. It will […]

Managing Ethiopia’s Water Resources

IRI’s Paul Block describes his recent trip to Koraro, Ethiopia, where there is a cluster of 11 Millennium Villages. Block is working to improve agricultural water management in the area, which is one of the most impoverished in the country and suffers from very poor infrastructure and severe drought. This project has been made possible […]