One of the key aspects of supporting groundwater management is being able to cope with changing rainfall patterns. Rainwatch is a simple, open source platform which is owned and managed by National Met Personal from 15 different countries across Africa – the Rainwatch Alliance.
To support the dry season planning, estimates of the groundwater levels at the end of the rainy season will be integrated into a RAINWATCH app, the first version of which is planned to be available online from July 2020.
A critical part of this multi-level communication has been the integration of Rainwatch information into the Farmers Voice Radio and embedding it within existing partner Learning Alliances and government coordination platforms.
Radio is arguably one of the most important, cost-effective sources of information for the majority of rural farmers in Africa. Along with farmer field listening groups and multi-stakeholder groups, agri-educational radio programming addresses the training needs of smallholders by establishing a dialogue directly with rural farming populations, delivering live, relevant and real-time updates on issues affecting their crops and livelihoods.
More than 150 individual episodes of the ‘Farmer and the Water’ radio programme have been broadcast weekly in two languages by GBC-URA Radio, reaching an estimated 146,600 listeners (32,800 males, 113,800 females). Since December 2019, questions and comments have been taken from listeners each week and fed into planning for the following weeks’ programme, with an average of 30 callers per week.
In Burkina Faso, the FVR worked closely with 17 farmers (12 women and 5 men) in the target communities of Poa and Tomo through the format of the listening groups. Based on these, 48 radio programmes were recorded and broadcast at least 32 times with the support of the agricultural technical services
- Talons, C. (2019) “Communicating groundwater climate behaviour, in the Sahel” RWSN-UPGro webinar presentation
- RAINWATCH website
- Gahl, N (2019) BRAVE Social Science Activity Report – Burkina Faso February-2019 UPGro blog (2019) Lord of the Rain: how radio can help African farmers combat drought