Building resilience to extreme weather through radio
BBC Media Action is using radio, mobile phone SMS (texting) and public service announcements to improve farmers’ access to information about the weather in Ethiopia.
By providing simple, regular and reliable weather forecasts and advice to farmers and livestock owners, the project aims to build their resilience in the face of extremes in climate.
Ethiopia is affected by extremes in weather – including high temperatures, drought and erratic and intensive rainfall. In 2003, 14 million people suffered from drought-related food shortages, malnutrition and the loss of herds and crops. In early 2011, poor rainfall and food shortages in the Oromia and Somali regions prompted the government to appeal for food aid for almost three million people.
In many areas of Ethiopia there is no easily accessible local-language weather information. BBC Media Action is training regional and local radio partners in Ethiopia’s Oromia region and SNNPR (Southern Nations, Nationalities and People’s Region) to include weather information in their schedules, and to broadcast interactive farming programmes. Listeners will be able to share experiences and advice, learning from others in the same situation.
By training local and regional radio partners and by building stronger relationships with the Ethiopian Meteorological Agency, stations will be better placed to provide the information that communities need to make decisions and plan in advance.
The project, delivered in partnership with local and regional radio stations, Christian Aid, ActionAid International, the Met Office (the UK’s national weather service) and King’s College, London, aims to reach over 800,000 people.
The project is based on extensive BBC Media Action research that explored the key environmental challenges faced by communities as well identifying which information they lacked and would find useful.
|Project name||BRACED: Building Resilience and Adaptation to Climate Extremes and Disasters (BRACED) Programme|
|Funder||The UK's Department for International Development|
|Outputs||Radio, mobile, listening groups|
|Broadcast partners||Regional radio station – ORTO (Oromia Radio and Television Organisation) and two local radio stations, Arbaminch FM and Jinka FM.|
Christian Aid, ActionAid International, the Met Office (the UK’s national weather service) and King’s College, London.
Our projects in Ethiopia
- How communication can address unsafe migration through and from EthiopiaThis new programme will focus on providing information and forums for discussion so that people can make informed decisions about what lies ahead of them.
- BabyWASH: Reducing childhood diarrhoea through radioWe encouraged healthier hygiene practices by mothers and fathers in Ethiopia to help protect children from often-deadly conditions such as diarrhoea through radio, community discussion and training with health workers.
- Using radio to address indoor air pollution in EthiopiaAir We Breathe is a health-focused project in the Oromia region of Ethiopia addressing indoor air pollution through radio and public service announcements.
- Building resilience to extreme weather through radioRadio programmes and mobile phone services are improving farmers’ access to accurate weather information in Ethiopia.
- Improving maternal and neonatal health in rural EthiopiaRadio programmes Biiftuu Jireenyaa and Jember deliver life-saving information to women and their families.
- Breaking the silence around sexual health in EthiopiaFrom 2006 to 2010, a pioneering radio programme for young people helped to encourage discussion about sexual health issues in Ethiopia by bringing taboo subjects to the fore.