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.

Training

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 AidActionAid 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 information

Project name BRACED: Building Resilience and Adaptation to Climate Extremes and Disasters (BRACED) Programme
Funder The UK's Department for International Development
Dates 2014-2017
Themes Resilience
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.
Partners

Christian Aid, ActionAid International, the Met Office (the UK’s national weather service) and King’s College, London.

Our projects in Ethiopia