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Opportunities and challenges of indigenous biotic weather forecasting among the Borena herders of southern Ethiopia.

Ayal DY, Desta S, Gebru G, Kinyangi J, Recha J, Radeny M - Springerplus (2015)

Bottom Line: Collected field data was compared with National Metrological Service Agency instrumental data for consistency.This article recommends before traditional Borana weather forecasting system completely disappears, a remedial action should be carried out to rescue this long established wisdom, knowledge and skill and maximize the benefits from what works well.Further research is required to explore possible area of complementarity between the modern and traditional forecasting systems for improved efficiency and effectiveness in predictability, dissemination and advice.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Geography and Environmental Studies, MARIL and Debre Berhan University, Debre Birhan, Ethiopia ; Addis Ababa University, P.O. Box 150129, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

ABSTRACT
The practical utilization of available modern as well as traditional weather forecasting systems builds herders' resiliency capacity to climatic shocks. The precision and reliability of the forecasting system determines its creditability and acceptance by the users to be proactive in the decisions they make based on the forecasted information. It has been postulated that traditional weather forecasting systems are becoming less reliable due to repeated faulty forecasts. The study assesses the current status of the Borana traditional weather forecasting system and how traditional experts make weather forecasts based on biotic indicators such as intestinal readings, changes in plant and animal body languages. Questionnaire survey, field observations, focus group discussions and interviews with relevant key informants were employed to obtain data. Collected field data was compared with National Metrological Service Agency instrumental data for consistency. Results reveal that herders made short term weather forecasts using intestinal readings, and observed changes in plant and animal body languages. The study shows the extent how public confidence in the accuracy of indigenous weather forecasting skills has been gradually eroded overtime due to faulty forecasts. The precision and credibility of the traditional weather forecast steadily declined and led to repeated faulty predictions. Poor documentation, oral based knowledge transfer system, influence of religion and modern education, aging and extinction of traditional experts were identified as the major causes undermining the vitality of traditional climate forecast. Traditional weather foresting knowledge and skill could have some utility and also serve as a starting point to scientifically study the relationship between various signs and implied climatic events. This article recommends before traditional Borana weather forecasting system completely disappears, a remedial action should be carried out to rescue this long established wisdom, knowledge and skill and maximize the benefits from what works well. The forecast needs of herders could be rendered by a combination of modern and traditional weather forecasting services. Further research is required to explore possible area of complementarity between the modern and traditional forecasting systems for improved efficiency and effectiveness in predictability, dissemination and advice.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Parts of intestine used for weather forecasting
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Fig3: Parts of intestine used for weather forecasting

Mentions: It is difficult to explain how intestine readings are used for weather forecasting since the skill is kept secret. However, from available information the practice of intestine reading and interpretation generally takes place like this: Indigenous experts look at four parts of the internal organ of animals. These are large intestine (Kechuma), small intestine, lump node (Kabello) and blood vessel (vein) (see Fig. 3). When the food substance, in the process of digestion, in the small and large intestines is small, medium and large, forecasts will be made for drought, small rainfall and a normal rainfall season respectively. Whether the forecasted drought would be mild or harsh is inferred in direct proportion to the size of food in the small and large intestines.Fig. 3


Opportunities and challenges of indigenous biotic weather forecasting among the Borena herders of southern Ethiopia.

Ayal DY, Desta S, Gebru G, Kinyangi J, Recha J, Radeny M - Springerplus (2015)

Parts of intestine used for weather forecasting
© Copyright Policy - OpenAccess
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4627968&req=5

Fig3: Parts of intestine used for weather forecasting
Mentions: It is difficult to explain how intestine readings are used for weather forecasting since the skill is kept secret. However, from available information the practice of intestine reading and interpretation generally takes place like this: Indigenous experts look at four parts of the internal organ of animals. These are large intestine (Kechuma), small intestine, lump node (Kabello) and blood vessel (vein) (see Fig. 3). When the food substance, in the process of digestion, in the small and large intestines is small, medium and large, forecasts will be made for drought, small rainfall and a normal rainfall season respectively. Whether the forecasted drought would be mild or harsh is inferred in direct proportion to the size of food in the small and large intestines.Fig. 3

Bottom Line: Collected field data was compared with National Metrological Service Agency instrumental data for consistency.This article recommends before traditional Borana weather forecasting system completely disappears, a remedial action should be carried out to rescue this long established wisdom, knowledge and skill and maximize the benefits from what works well.Further research is required to explore possible area of complementarity between the modern and traditional forecasting systems for improved efficiency and effectiveness in predictability, dissemination and advice.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Geography and Environmental Studies, MARIL and Debre Berhan University, Debre Birhan, Ethiopia ; Addis Ababa University, P.O. Box 150129, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

ABSTRACT
The practical utilization of available modern as well as traditional weather forecasting systems builds herders' resiliency capacity to climatic shocks. The precision and reliability of the forecasting system determines its creditability and acceptance by the users to be proactive in the decisions they make based on the forecasted information. It has been postulated that traditional weather forecasting systems are becoming less reliable due to repeated faulty forecasts. The study assesses the current status of the Borana traditional weather forecasting system and how traditional experts make weather forecasts based on biotic indicators such as intestinal readings, changes in plant and animal body languages. Questionnaire survey, field observations, focus group discussions and interviews with relevant key informants were employed to obtain data. Collected field data was compared with National Metrological Service Agency instrumental data for consistency. Results reveal that herders made short term weather forecasts using intestinal readings, and observed changes in plant and animal body languages. The study shows the extent how public confidence in the accuracy of indigenous weather forecasting skills has been gradually eroded overtime due to faulty forecasts. The precision and credibility of the traditional weather forecast steadily declined and led to repeated faulty predictions. Poor documentation, oral based knowledge transfer system, influence of religion and modern education, aging and extinction of traditional experts were identified as the major causes undermining the vitality of traditional climate forecast. Traditional weather foresting knowledge and skill could have some utility and also serve as a starting point to scientifically study the relationship between various signs and implied climatic events. This article recommends before traditional Borana weather forecasting system completely disappears, a remedial action should be carried out to rescue this long established wisdom, knowledge and skill and maximize the benefits from what works well. The forecast needs of herders could be rendered by a combination of modern and traditional weather forecasting services. Further research is required to explore possible area of complementarity between the modern and traditional forecasting systems for improved efficiency and effectiveness in predictability, dissemination and advice.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus