Published: NOVEMBER 11, 2021


Know your weather 


Smallholders as farmers, fisheries and pastoralist are highly vulnerable and their livelihoods is threatened by changing weather patterns and climate change. Smallholders experience weather condition differing strongly from their experience. Ranging from prolonged droughts, increased flooding events to shift in rainfall patterns and seasons, those extreme weather events caused by climate change impact livelihood activities as farming, insect control, harvesting, post-harvesting management and fishing. To adapt and to building climate resilience reliable, timely, downscaled and useable climate information can be elementary for smallholders.  In order to produce, disseminate climate services (CS)tailored to the need of smallholders a baseline study was conducted by CAN TZ in the communities of Kidomole (Bagamoyo), Kihangaiko (Chalinze), Mwangoi (Lushoto) and Ushongo/Bweni (Pangani) villages. The results of the baseline study inform the activities of the project “Aligning climate resilience, sustainable development and poverty reduction in Tanzania”. 


The study design: 


The baseline study was designed to asses information on climate services and it’s use in the districts Lushoto,Pangani,Bagamoyo and Chalinze. It focused in specific on: 

  • Assessing community’s awareness on the impact of climate change  and how their livelihood productivities are affected 

  • Assessing current knowledge, attitude and practices of the communities on CS 

  • Compare and contrast the communities  preferences between science-based and traditional CS 

Different data collection and analysis methodologies were applied to capture all required information. Both primary and secondary information were collected. For secondary data, in-depth documentary reviews for the districts on related topics were made to inform the understanding of the local situation. For the primary data and information, interviews to 329 households, key informant interviews (KII) to 16 district technical officers, 4 Focus Group Discussions (FDG) and observation were conducted. 



The impacts of climate change have continued to be great challenge to the livelihoods of the smallholders creating the circle of poverty environments while increasing vulnerable groups in the project districts. Frequently the following major climatic challenges affecting livlihoods were reported: 

  •  Unpredictability of rains and seasons,  

  • prolonged drought conditions 

  • increasing temperatures 

  • splash flooding . 

Members of the study communities admitted to the availability of weather and information services generated and disseminated by TMA through channels like Televisions (TV), Radio, Newspapers, and social media. However, due to the rural nature of the environment, they have limited access to the services and majority do not understand how to use the information in their activities. More than 60% of the respondents in all study villages also informed on the availability and higher contribution of the traditional (Indigenous Knowledge - IK) weather forecasting services in their socioeconomic undertakings. 


Challenges and recommendations: 

Based on the study findings and identified challenges the following recommendation for climate services are made:  

  • Enhance access to the downscaled weather and climate services  

  • Enhance capacity of extension workers to on translation and advisories of CS for smallholders.  

  • traditional weather forecasting knowledges should be promoted in the communities because it has been identified as useful and sometimes more reliable compared to conventional services.  

  • raising awareness of the community to discourage the negative attitude of associating IK with witchcraft practices which are against religious beliefs. 

  • Close linking gap between Tanzanian Meteorological Authority (TMA ) and Local Government Authorities on weather and climate forecast services generation, dissemination, and utilization. There should be a direct link between TMA and officers working for smallholders at the district executive director’s office. 


Figure: Communities awareness on the availability and usefulness of IK on climate services in the study area