Training helps Kenya to create its own climate atlas

2020 – 2021

At the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) in Kenya, we are giving the training course ‘How to build a climate atlas from open data?’. With this training we teach employees and students how to make their own climate atlas by using open data. On Monday 22 March the first of six online meetings took place. This project is funded by Nuffic from the Orange Knowledge Programme.

What is the training about?
With this training we help university employees and students to create their own climate atlas. We do this by working together with them to design, develop and host an atlas online. We use open data from online databases so that the tool remains easily accessible. The tool is developed and hosted from DASH, an online platform that uses the Python programming language.

Why a climate atlas?
Farmers in Kenya are greatly affected by changing weather and the changing climate. A climate atlas can help them choose climate-resilient crops. Such an atlas can also show in which period of the year they can best grow these crops, so that they have a better chance of higher yields. In addition to farmers, policy makers can also make good use of the atlas, for example to determine what measures they can take to reduce the impact of extreme precipitation or drought.

What is the goal of the training?
The ultimate goal of the training is for the various stakeholders in Kenya to have a better understanding of climate change in their region. We aim to achieve this through the following sub-goals:

  • Employees and students of JKUAT will be able to design and develop their own atlas after the training.
  • The training helps participants to tailor the atlas to the target audience, such as local farmers, NGOs or agricultural scientists. The participants receive guest lectures from our colleagues at Wageningen Centre for Development Innovation on how to communicate information from the climate atlas to other parties and stakeholders. They also learn how to make a climate atlas attractive to users.
  • The training helps participants to choose indicators for an atlas that best fit the local situation and the user. Examples of such indicators are monthly precipitation or average temperature.
  • The participants learn how to find the right data online. The training therefore also includes basic lessons on weather, climate change and climate models.
  • During the training, participants learn to work together in multidisciplinary groups with climate scientists, hydrologists, agricultural experts and communication scientists. This enables them to come up with innovative solutions to complex issues together.

More information
Would you like to know more about this project? Then please contact Sophie van der Horst.