[UNDP]: Flood warnings via SMS and chalkboards in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

Festo Francis Mgina uses a motorcycle to make deliveries around Karakata informal settlement in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

But when it rains heavily, crossing the nearby Msimbazi river becomes a real hazard. Mgina once damaged his employer’s motorcycle in a serious accident near the flooded waters. Despite attempting to repair the bike at great personal cost, he lost his job.

“If that day I could have known that it rained in some places to the extent of the Msimbazi river to get full, I would have had an opportunity to not cross the river,” says Mgina.

Thankfully he is back in business again, and he now takes advantage of SMS weather forecasts on his phone to plan his routes, so that he avoids flooded areas.

“I cannot deny that it is important to follow weather information,” he says.

At a local school, children read the expected rainfall, temperatures and weather conditions on a community chalkboard.

These SMS’s and community notice boards are really simple, low-tech ways to make complex scientific information accessible to people vulnerable to climate change effects like flooding, says Mussa Raido.

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