TAHMO

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Vulnerability to Blue Tick will likely increase in the coming years in Laikipia County in Kenya unless stakeholders intervene. This is according to Peter Mbugua, a Geospatial Information Science and Remote Sensing student at Dedan Kimathi University in Nyeri, Kenya.

Influences of climate changes in the spatial and temporal variation of tick-borne diseases (TBD) are frequently overlooked by researchers. Consequently, there are no effective control strategies and measures to minimize the spread of TBD’s. This results in the loss of livestock, lower productivity, decrease in human health and reduced income from (agro)tourism.

Peter has identified areas in Kenya for low, middle and high risk of TBD. Through using GIS-based Multi-criteria evaluation – including humidity, rainfall, temperature, wetlands, rivers, and slope of the county – Peter determined that the changing trends in weather patterns in the last 15 years continues to favors parasite survival. 

These results can be used to implement measures to counter the spread. For example, high-risk areas can be sprayed and pastoralists can be informed about farm &-livestock management to prevent the spread of tick-borne diseases.

**Written by Peter Mbugua


Commissioning of the ATMOS 41 Automatic Weather Station of TAHMO.
Commissioning of the ATMOS 41 Automatic Weather Station

To keep pace with advancement in sensor design and technology on weather related issues, the Vice-Chancellor of the Federal University of Technology, Akure, Professor Joseph Fuwape has commissioned a newly installed 4th Generation ATMOS 41 Automatic Weather Station (AWS) at the WASCAL Centre, FUTA. This is an upgrade of the 1st Generation Trans-African Hydro-Meteorological Observatory (TAHMO) Automatic Weather Station (AWS) which was installed at the WASCAL Meteorological Observatory at the Federal University of Technology, Akure in 2014 as the first TAHMO Station in Nigeria.

Continue reading…


The TWIGA Kumasi Hardware Hackathon

**Written by Nick van de Giesen
TAHMO has been working with the TWIGA project since the start of 2018. An important output of the TWIGA project will be new geo-services (twenty!) based on the application of innovative sensors. In order to speed up the development of these services, a Hackathon was organized from 19 through 23 November 2018 at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Kumasi Ghana. The objective was to build complete value chains, from observation to internet storage to service delivery. We aimed high on purpose to see what can and cannot be done in such a short time. The results are very promising! Continue reading on the TWIGA website…

TWIGA hackathon participants showing their environmental weather innovations.
TWIGA Hackathon participants showing their innovations!

**by Bonventure M Makhaya, TAHMO Kenya Intern

Agribusiness is emerging to be the next income generating sector whose potential is yet to be exploited fully. The wider public perceives agriculture as ‘just farming’, just raising livestock and growing crops. For most farmers in Kiambaa constituency in Kiambu County it’s a different narrative. For one James Muuga from Kamuguga village, it’s a treasure chest.

He describes Agribusiness as the farming, management, production, and marketing of agricultural commodities. He pays much attention to the ever-changing weather. In his own words; there is no proper farming without paying attention to underlying factors that may affect the end product. Mr. Muuga is a full-time farmer and he is very passionate about it, from poultry, cattle keeping, Pig rearing to kale cultivation. He believes weather plays a major role in the amount of milk produced, egg production, to prices of processed and unprocessed feeds. He, however, feels there exists a gap when it comes to dissemination of weather information. Asked about how he manages to sell all his produce, he points out Masoko as the platform he currently engages with though he has sold his produce to Twiga foods Kenya in the past. One lesson I learn is, in the 21st-century smart farming is the way to go and technology is inevitable.

I paid a visit to Mr. Gabriel Kihara in charge of research at National environmental Trust Fund (Net Fund) to get his views on the same. He starts by highlighting the achievements the entity has made. With over 4000 farmers under their watch and funding they have no regrets whatsoever .He however is quick to point that the channels used to disseminate weather information are not that efficient. He believes Weather and Agriculture are entwined and they are very open to discussion and further engagements with TAHMO. After the interactive sessions, these two questions kept crossing my mind. What is in Agribusiness for me? Which opportunities are in Agro-meteorology yet to be exploited and how can we improve on dissemination of weather information?


Gilbert attended the weather event indaba hosted by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, the Make-IT in Africa, Agency for Business & Economic Development (AWE) and Strathmore University (@iLabAfrica) to explore the potential of integrated digital solutions in Agriculture. It aimed at exploring ways of using technology such as IoT and AI we aim to make life better for those who produce our daily food – the small-scale farmers and their families

Various participants from agricultural organisations, financial and insurance companies, tech start-ups and government agencies were hosted. Gilbert demonstrated the TAHMO API and how it would contribute to improving the weather value chain in Africa.

At the end of the workshop, participants engaged in design thinking and developed possible solutions that agricultural communities, innovative start-ups, and tech communities can work together to bleach various challenges in the agriculture chain. On the sideline, Gilbert held meetings with the team of IBM Germany.

 

 


TAHMO hosted two workshops on user engagement one for TAHMO internship and the other for users of the data on 25th and 27th Augusts respectively. On the internship workshop, 18 graduates who recently joined our TAHMO internship program attended induction meeting held at KMD, hosted by Gilbert and also facilitated by Frank( TAHMO CEO) and David Mburu (Director of Training school at KMD). Dirk V.O Lubbe and Els Veenhoven also contributed the workshop.

 It was an opportunity for interns to know how TAHMO operates, the challenges we want to solve and how they would be involved. The internship program will challenge participants to solve a wide range of problems in the meteorological industry – from mapping users needs, big data management, station network management, school to school program and development of business with weather data.  I am looking forward to reading lots of stories on what each one of them will be doing.

 Follow what the interns are up to on the link: https://sites.google.com/view/tahmointernship

On August 27th, TAHMO and KMS co-organised a workshop on Environmental sensor market research. over 50 participants ranging from Farmers, Universities, private and public institutions attended.

TAHMO attended the 2nd RCMRD International Conference which was organized from the 15th to the 17th of August, 2018. Here, stakeholders from across Africa came together with ideas on how to fast-track applications for earth observations and geo-information technologies and discussed how to implement these into decision-making processes.

During the open-panel discussion, TAHMO shared its vision and experience on the importance of institutional collaboration.


In the framework of its activities in Burkina Faso, TAHMO was contacted by one of its Partner organizations a local NGO MARP which owned one of TAHMO’s Generation 2 station since 2015; for the installation of a generation 3 station with additional sensors at Gourcy in Northern Burkina. MARP is an NGO active in development areas such as food security and nutrition, disaster risk reduction and climate change which requires reliable climatic data and information. Dr. Mande Theophile the representative of TAHMO in Burkina has been in charge of both training MARP’s staff and installing the station. In June; he organized a training workshop for three staff of MARP which included two interns (GNOUMU Juliette and OULE Dapé Serge) and MARP’s technical director Julien OUEDRAOGO (in the picture below). In the past, the MARP’s NGO only collected rainfall data and this was done manually; in December 2015 the installation of the TAHMO Gen 2 automatic weather station at its headquarters in Ouagadougou offered them the opportunity to collect simultaneously several meteorological parameters at a higher frequency. However, the location of the station was about 150 km from MARP area of action (the northern region) so they requested for the new station. For Mr. Ouedraogo the data collected at the new location will correspond more to the local climatic conditions and will allow MARP to provide relevant information to their partners and stakeholders. The new location of the station (roof-top) was decided by MARP according to the physical constraints of the site (trees).

At the end of the installation, the technical director of MARP thanked Dr. MANDE for adding a station to the MARP network. He was excited to see the data flow from the station to his computer near-real time.

**Written by Théophile Mande

MARP staff trained : From left ( intern OULE DAPE SERGE, Mr OUEDRAOGO NIMBRATA JULIEN, intern GNOUMU Juliette)

Station installed on the roof-top.