n African Journal of Science, Technology, Innovation and Development - An innovative drought early warning system for sub-Saharan Africa : integrating modern and indigenous approaches

Volume 7, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 2042-1338
  • E-ISSN: 2042-1346
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Droughts remain the number one disaster in Africa; drought is responsible for over 88% of all the types of disasters that people are affected by. An effective drought early warning system can support appropriate mitigation and preparedness strategies and hence minimise these effects. Existing systems tend to ignore the 'at risk' community and are faced with a number of implementation challenges; their utilisation is very low. This paper describes an innovative drought early warning system that integrates indigenous and scientific drought forecasting approaches. The system is anchored on a novel integration framework called ITIKI (acronym for Information Technology and Indigenous Knowledge with Intelligence). Indigenous knowledge ensures that the system is relevant, acceptable and resilient. ITIKI further employs three ICTs (mobile phones, wireless sensor networks and artificial intelligence) to enhance the system's effectiveness, affordability, sustainability and intelligence. This paper describes the ITIKI's architecture as well as the design, development and evaluation of the drought early warning system.

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