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Knowledge is the key for adaptation

17.05.2019 - Article

A bambanakan proverb states that learning will help people to leave the darkness, writes the International Climate Initiative. But how do you get climate information to those who will need it most? Here's what Mali is doing.

Local expert groups of the Malian Meteorological Service, called GLAM.
Local expert groups of the Malian Meteorological Service, called GLAM.© GIZ

The IKI funded project PICP (innovative development planning to adjust climate change in Mali) in 2018 supported the Malian Meteorological Service to put in place local expert groups, called GLAM (Groupes Locaux d'Assistance Météorologique). These GLAMs are composed of representatives of local authorities (Prefect), local public services (such as the Meteorological Service), the Agricultural Service and other civil society organizations and local media representatives especially from the radio.

GLAM (Groupes Locaux d'Assistance Météorologique)

The members of the GLAM organize awareness raising workshops in which they select farmers to provide GLAM with rainfall data. In turn, these farmers receive rainfall gauges and are trained in their use. In addition, they provide the GLAM with the information on the state of their crops.

They transmit the data with mobile phones by text messages or other mobile phone applications. During the rainy season, the GLAMs organize every 10 days a meeting to verify the information collected by the farmers. The information itself is enriched by seasonal weather forecasts. Based on this information, a small report is elaborated, providing the farmers of that district with information on weather forecast, advice for themselves and - if necessary - also information on the adaptation to specific meteorological conditions forecasted.

During the rainy season of 2018 in Southern Mali (May to September), a total of 67 reports were prepared and disseminated by 168 radio broadcast stations, with a broadcast radius of 80 km each, in the six capitals of the districts that received support from the project.

Financial challenges

However, GLAMs now face the challenge of ensuring their sustainable operation through the funding from the Malian national budget.

As much as the public budget considers the GLAMs, the resources either do not reach the local level or are not sufficient for covering their running costs.

In order to bridge this gap to cover their entire operation, the project searched (in consultation and cooperation with the National Meteorological Service) for possibilities to identify a sustainable financing mechanism which in turn supports the beneficiaries of the information. However, before this mechanism can be put in place, the access to information will depend on the support of external financial resources.

© International Climate Initiative (IKI)

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