By Phylis Muchesia

The African Technology Policy Studies Network (ATPS) has launched a two year project on Bridging Information Gaps to Strengthen Capacities for Climate Informed Decision-making. It aims to improve the capacity of five African nations to understand and deploy appropriate climate information and best practices in decision making, development planning, reduce vulnerability and attain food security.

More specifically it will identify and analyze climate information needs and knowledge of research institutions, extension agents and farmers. The project to be implemented in Kenya, Cameroon, Nigeria, Tunisia and Malawi will strengthen their capacities to utilize high quality demand driven-climate information for adaptation planning and decision making.

Then project is funded by African Development Bank. Other partners include IGAD Climate Prediction and Application Centre, Stockholm Environment Institute Africa Centre, Observatoire du Sahara et du Sahel, Regional Centre for Mapping Resource for Development and  AGRHYMET Regional Centre

The project was officially launched in Nairobi by Mr. Onesmas Maina from the ADB. “climate change is real and that the world cannot keep on pretending that there is no such calamity, Mr Maina said.

This project also seeks to connect producers with each other, improve cooperation among various communities and also enable knowledge sharing among famers, ATPS Executive Director, Dr. Nicholas Ozor noted.

He said that the project will assist farmers get the most out of their lands using a mobile application (landinfo) that will enable them access, share, use and interpret global knowledge and information relevant to the unique potential of each piece of land, Dr Ozor added.

The keynote speaker was one of Africa’s top climate change experts, Professor Shem Wandiga, from the University of Nairobi Institute of Climate Change and Adaptation. said that there is need for an organized data collection on all the major factors influencing climate change.

“ The climate information gaps include lack of prehistoric weather data,  information on who will be displaced and why and exact causes of conflict, “ Prof Wandiga added.