Reliable Information Lifesaver for Niger's Herders
When Moumouni Abdoulaye and his fellow herders in western Niger used to set off on scouting missions in search of water, they feared for their livestock - and for their own lives.
Unable to rely anymore on their traditional methods of predicting the weather amid increasingly erratic droughts and floods, and lacking modern climate information, they struggled to predict where, and when, they might find water in the vast arid region.
"We were living in limbo. Without knowledge, we constantly risked our lives," said Abdoulaye, seeking shade under a tree from the fierce midday sun in Niger's Tillabery region.
But a project to involve the region's semi-nomadic people in the production of locally-specific, real-time weather forecasts - and provide them with radios and mobile phones to receive and share the information - is transforming the lives of tens of thousands of Nigeriens like Abdoulaye.