New project links indigenous rainmaking knowledge and scientific weather forecasting

Indigenous knowledge on changing weather patterns will be used to inform Western scientific weather forecasting in a new Sh 18.8 million project that was launched recently in Kenya.

The 2-year project, funded by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) aims to help local communities adapt to climate change.

Scientists from the Kenya Meteorological Department and the National Museums of Kenya will work with Western Kenya’s Nganyi community that is renowned for its traditional rainmaking prowess.

The project also hopes to demystify the rainmaking practices of the Nganyi people who predict rainfall patterns by noting various environmental changes, e.g. changes in air currents, the pattern of flowering and shedding of leaves from certain trees, changes in behaviour of safari ants and the different songs of some birds, as well as croaking of frogs and toads.