Agnella Faustine Malilima, 26 years old, became interested in the DARAJA project in July 2019 after hearing about it from a neighbour, Ms. Biosa Ng’anzi, who had attended some project meetings. At first Agnella says she did not realize the importance of weather and climate information services (WCIS) in everyday life; WCIS was not easy for her to access or understand. After attending a DARAJA project meeting, Agnella began to follow up and learn more. In her own words:
Agnella explains that interest and understanding of WCIS is growing in her community, along with decisions that consider the forecast information after project interventions. She recalls that during the October rain, after the forecast, the community decided to clean the river that usually floods when it rains, and some people were able to shift their belongings to safer places within the community. Although Agnella does not live in a flood-prone area, she also now takes precautions if it is going to rain and if temperatures will be high, such as taking more water.
According to Agnella, the information is easily understandable by the community, especially what is shared through SMS. However, she encourages the project and TMA to have a media programme on awareness creation for wider knowledge and information sharing, including sending SMS to more people.
Agnella also believes that the relationship and the trust between the community and TMA has improved. Because the forecasts have shown to be good, now the community is paying attention and even making decisions, as noted above. She says: