Improving Adaptive Capacities to Climate Extremes through Dissemination and Use of Seasonal Rainfall Forecast in a drought-prone area of Sudan Northern Kordofan

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Mohamed, Hana Hamadalla
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Sudan being part of Sub-Sahara Africa is already subjected to frequent climatic variability and extremes and is projected to become even more vulnerable under future climatic changes. North Kordofan, where severity of drought depends on the variability of rainfall both in amount, distribution and frequency and where the study area lies is one of the most vulnerable regions in Sudan. Its vulnerability stems mainly from the region’s high dependency on rainfed agriculture, and therefore farmers and pastoralists are typically the least able to adapt particularly with the recently increasing frequencies of changing climatic events. This study explored the potential impacts of climatic variation (particularly rainfall) on the livelihoods of rural households as well as their farming strategies. It identified a number of adaptation measures that have been implemented by local communities including the use of specific signals for predicting rainfall. Inspite of the fact that recently, meteorological and weather forecast centers started employing modern computer models to produce seasonal climate forecasts and predictions, but still its use by local people is very limited and in many cases people are not aware of them. These forecasts have the potential of becoming more useful if they are well adapted to the needs and interests of rural people who can then use them for improving their adaptive capacity. Based on the assumptions that strategies for integrating seasonal forecasts into decisions could increase adaptive capacity to climate variability, therefore the main objective of this research is to develop locally-driven strategy for the use and dissemination of seasonal climate rainfall forecast information as a mean for reducing the vulnerability of the rural community in a drought-prone area of Sudan. Livelihood assessment is used in this research to identify and assess the impacts of climate on rural livelihoods and to examine the potential role that seasonal rainfall forecasts information might play in increasing adaptive capacity in response to climate variability. Northern Kordofan is selected as a study area to explore the strategies that iv rural households in their perusal to improving their coping capacity under a situation of high climate variability and to identify their needs related to seasonal rainfall forecasts. The study identified a number of gaps and problems associated with the dissemination and use of seasonal rainfall forecast information such as: The lack of awareness about the seasonal forecast among the local communities; the weak linkages between the authority's agencies that responsible for the production of the forecast and the key stakeholders and local people who represent the end users; the lack of a well-developed dissemination strategy for the climate information by relevant institutions responsible for that in Sudan. It therefore highlighted and emphasized the need for appropriately tailoring the forecast information based on the requirements of different stakeholders and to serve the purpose of support the planning process. Taking all these findings into consideration a model was developed in order to address the existing gaps and to strengthen interlinkages between the different key stakeholders and to assist in the development and improvement of seasonal forecast dissemination. This model could be applied to improve the dissemination and use of the seasonal forecast information as a mean for reducing the vulnerability and increase adaptive capacities of the rural community in a drought-prone area of Sudan. The research findings could thus provide a valuable contribution to the adaptation science through the community –based analysis of the rainfall forecasts information and their subsequent recommendations regarding its structure, contents and time and methods of communication.
Improving Adaptive, Capacities ,Climate, Extremes , ,Dissemination,Seasonal ,Rainfall ,Forecast ,drought-prone area