James Kirika is DARAJA Weather Mtaani leader in Nairobi. James is a resident of Laini Saba, one of the villages in the informal settlement of Kibera. His engagement with DARAJA started at the stage of co-designing the pilot services. He explains that accessing WCI has become much easier now. Not only is there an improvement in access, there’s also increased interest wanting to know about weather conditions. Prior to DARAJA, James did not know the importance of weather forecasts. This was true for others in the community as well. But now James gets daily and weekly weather updates.
Prisca from KDI, the main DARAJA intermediary NGO in Nairobi and project partner, reflects on this change as well. She indicates that the community is accessing weather information more now than they have been before, and now they are aware of the source of this information. Many of those who accessed WCI before DARAJA did know the source of the information.
Speaking for the wider community, James says that people are now able to better understand the relationship between weather and early action. He shares the example of how the community did a drain clean up a day before the rains started and later noticed that water was not flooding into local shops and houses as it usually did. Following this, the community realised that they should keep the drains free of blockage so that rain water doesn’t accumulate and trigger flooding. KRC has also noticed the community taking actions like clearing drainages when KRC issues flood alert warnings. KRC says that they are noticing a reduction in the number of community members who are affected by floods.
Prisca from KDI finds that people have become more resilient as they are now better aware of the impacts of flooding and how to prepare themselves for it. As people have found WCI to be very valuable, they have been sharing it with other community members as well.
From the perspective of an NGO, KRC describes the significant change that their communications have experienced due to DARAJA. They are now incorporating the weekly, monthly and seasonal outlook forecasts into their disaster hazard communications. They are now able to create a lot of awareness in the community.
In terms of mass communication, Philip explains that following their engagement with DARAJA, they are using WCI in their content planning process. Prior to DARAJA, shows that were dedicated to WCI did not feature much in their content. This is reflected in their increased listenership and engagement from the audience. Philip says that the audience trusts the information that they hear on Pamoja FM and they like that they get timely information.
James indicates that there is a positive change in the relationship between the community and KMD. He says that the community is more appreciative of KMD’s work. James attributes these changes to DARAJA, particularly his own interest in WCI.
Community based NGO, KDI, agrees that KMD has supported the project, KDI and the community very well. Due to this DARAJA ‘network’ of stakeholders, KMD is now well connected with actors on the ground who work on weather and climate related issues.
Speaking on the change experienced by DARAJA’s main intermediary NGO partner – KDI, Prisca says that KDI has been able to engage with stakeholders from other parts of Nairobi. This sentiment is shared by community leaders as well who have spoken about their social network which has now extended to other settlements. KDI has also been able to engage with other Sub-Saharan countries as well, for example, Tanzania. As DARAJA was a different type of project from the typical KDI project, they have now expanded their expertise and have become known in the community for sharing forecasts and helping prepare for high-impact weather.