We are pleased to announce that the final stage of data collection for the National-scale Impact-based Forecasting of Flood Risk in Uganda (NIMFRU) project is now underway.
With increasing climate instability, the ability of vulnerable communities to proactively and effectively deal with flood frequency and volume is becoming increasingly important. Despite significant investments in early warning systems, only limited progress has been made towards making flood-prone communities safe. Forecast-based Financing (FbF) is an initiative which enables humanitarian funds for early action to be released before a disaster, on the basis of a forecast.
The NIMFRU project aims to support Forecast-based Financing by working with three communities in Katakwi, in Northern Uganda. Through a series of research activities, the project aims to increase awareness of climate-livelihood risks and provide accessible information of extreme weather events to all parties, ensuring that communities and local authorities can respond more effectively to flood warning systems. To improve community and district level awareness around climate and livelihood information, the NIMFRU project used small, community 'Listening Groups' and larger group meetings called 'Farmer Agri-Met Village Advisory Clinics' (FAMVACs). More detail on both Listening Groups and FAMVACs can be found HERE.
NIMFRU ran five Listening Group meetings and 15 FAMVACs in the target community. Each Listening Group was comprised of 12 community members while the FAMVACs were attended by an average of 200 local community members. Both initiatives actively included and involved local district officers to provide communities with direct contact with local experts. These workshops and discussions fed directly into the creation of Farmers' Voice Radio programmes. 20 individual episodes of the Akautu Akoriok (‘Farmers See Light’) radio programme have been broadcast weekly on Monday mornings (repeated on Sunday afternoons) by Etop Radio, the number one Ateso-language radio station in the region with an estimated 42% share of radio listeners.
Having completed this fieldwork, the final step of the project is to conduct a series of one-to-one interviews to assess the impact of these interventions on participating community members and district officers. The district officers will also complete a Flood Impact Matrix which will allow us to gather local knowledge and expertise on which times of year floods cause the most damage to crops, livestock and employment. This information will help to provide the link between flood forecasts and information on household food and income sources, enabling us to predict how floods will impact household economies and food security in the region.
Our on-the-ground partner, ECOTRUST, began this data collection on Tuesday the 8th of December and will complete it before the Christmas break. We will use this data to assess the impact of the NIMFRU project, and we look forward to being able to showcase some of the long-term successes of this project in 2021.