Animated Social Gadget - Blogger And Wordpress Tips

Monday, 30 November 2015

Investing in Maize Value Chain in Ol-Moran Ward

By Bob Aston
The Arid Lands Information Network (ALIN) through Ng’arua Maarifa Centre in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, and Fisheries held a two-day workshop on Maize Value Chain at Olivia Court Motel, Sipili in Laikipia West Sub County on November 25-26, 2015.
A total of 85 farmers drawn from Ol-Moran Ward attended the workshop. Its aim was to enhance farmer’s production skills on maize value chain, to share production and marketing experiences, to enhance systematic record keeping by maize farmers, to improve cereals aggregation and to reduce post-harvest grain losses.
Farmers keenly following proceedings during the workshop

Speaking during the opening of the workshop, Mr. Noah Lusaka, ALIN Projects Manager noted that the organization has been involved in improving farmer’s access to knowledge and skills through various Maarifa Centres in Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania.
He said that in Ol-Moran Ward the organization is promoting Maize, tree tomato and tomato value chains. Through a participatory approach in 2013, farmers had identified the three value chains as the priority areas in the ward.
“We have been organizing workshops and field days for farmers in the three value chains. We expect that the information gathered by farmers will help them adopt best agricultural practices and thus realize better returns,” said Mr. Lusaka.
He said that ALIN aims to strengthen the three value chains and ensure farmers play an active role. He noted that the organization is keen in promoting the value chain approach as this can promote inclusive economic growth.
Some of the challenges listed by farmers included high input cost,  frequent droughts, substandard inputs, low soil fertility, human-wildlife conflict, lack of access to appropriate information, difficulty in accessing credit facilities, high cost of unskilled labour, pests and diseases, and high post-harvest losses.
The Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, and Fisheries noted that land under maize cultivation in Ol-Moran Ward has been increasing while production has been declining over the years. Most farmers noted that they are harvesting an average of 10-18 bags per acre.  
Mr. Kipyegon Kipkemei from EAGC addressing the farmers
During the workshop, a lot of emphasis was on the importance of soil analysis as an aid to assessing soil fertility and plant nutrient requirements and management as well as adoption of best agricultural practices as the best ways of reversing the decline in maize production.
Mr. Kipyegon Kipkemei from the Eastern African Grain Council (EAGC) urged farmers to aggregate their cereals instead of selling cheaply to traders. He said that EAGC is working with cereal banks in the ward to ensure that they receive Warehousing Receipting System certification.
”Warehousing Receipting System helps in mobilizing agricultural credit by creating secure collateral for farmers. It also ensures better storage facilities as well as reduced risks in the agricultural markets,” said Mr. Kipkemei.
He said that farmers have the option to sell when they can get the best price for their cereals. This reduces exploitation during the harvest season when the farm gate prices are low.
The farmers learned about production practices and management, agribusiness and value addition, soil management, SOKO+ sms platform, warehousing receipting system (WRS), pests and disease control, harvesting and post-harvest management, maize record keeping system, storage, and storage facilities, and drying, shelling and grading.

Special issue of Joto Afrika out

By Bob Aston
The Arid Lands Information Network (ALIN) is pleased to present a special edition of Joto Afrika newsletter. This edition presents key initiatives the Ministry of Environment Natural Resources and Regional Development Authorities (MENRRDA) and its partners have undertaken in realizing a low emission and climate resilient development pathway.
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) through United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) supported the production of the special edition of the newsletter by funding the Low Emission and Climate Resilient Development (LECRD) Project, within the framework of the US Government led effort on Enhancing Capacity for Low Emission Development Strategy (EC-LEDS).
Joto Afrika, meaning “Africa is feeling the heat’ in Kiswahili is a series of printed briefings and online resources about low emission and climate change adaptation actions. The series helps people understand the issues, constrains and opportunities that people face in adapting to climate change and escaping poverty.  
The latest edition of JotoAfrika newsletter
According to Richard L. Lesiyampe (PhD) MBS, Principal Secretary MENRRDA, the special edition had featured some initiatives made by non-state actors toward strengthening the national response to climate change.
This is to demonstrate that an effective climate response must involve all stakeholders working in a coordinated manner, hence harnessing different experiences and lesson for maximum effectiveness.
He noted that climate change presents a special global challenge to the social and economic development agenda. Kenya has taken important steps towards effectively addressing the phenomenon, including putting in place relevant policies and strategies.
The country, for example, was among the first in Africa to come up with a National Climate Change Response Strategy (NCCRS) in 2010. Thereafter in 2013, Kenya launched the National Climate Change Action Plan (NCCAP, 2013–2017), which is the blueprint for implementing the NCCRS.
Additionally, Kenya is in the process of formalizing both the National Climate Change Framework Policy and Climate Change Bill.
In response to the decisions adopted by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the country has now developed its Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) on reducing Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions that was submitted in July 2015.
The INDC has an ambitious target of 30 per cent reduction in emissions by 2030. It is in line with the low carbon climate resilient development pathway, which Kenya has adopted.
Kenya has also set in place a mechanism for raising public awareness about climate change as a way of ensuring all-round involvement of citizens in combating its negative impacts and taking advantage of opportunities.
In a bold step to bring this about, the government has constructed a National Climate Change Resource Centre in Nairobi, which is open for public use. It is the national repository for climate change information relevant to Kenya.
The Resource Centre incorporates green building concepts such as use of solar power, biogas, and water recycling. The Centre has a library, amphitheater and training facilities for dissemination of climate related information.
A virtual online version of the Climate Change Resource Centre in the form of a one-stop climate change portal is currently under development to ensure widespread access of climate change information by the public.
It is our hope that readers will find this special issue informative and add value to their work on addressing the challenges and opportunities that come with climate change. You can download a copy of the special Joto Afrika issue here.

Saturday, 28 November 2015

Can Paris climate deal end funding drought to help the poor cope?

By Megan Rowling, BRACED
BARCELONA - African governments will push hard at U.N. climate talks over the next two weeks to right what they see as a global wrong that is now becoming starker: a drought of financial support to help the people who are bearing the brunt of a warming planet.
As negotiations on a new deal to tackle climate change start in Paris on Sunday, millions of Africans are going hungry due to the combined impacts of a strong El Nino weather pattern and longer-term climate shifts, with drought and floods affecting Ethiopia, Somalia and Zimbabwe, to name but a few places.
In West Africa, creeping deserts and rising seas are increasingly driving people from their homes to migrate to other parts of the politically volatile region - and in some cases north towards Europe.
Yet money to help vulnerable people cope with climate pressures has not been forthcoming from international donors in anything like the amounts experts say are needed.
World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim said this week that African governments would come to Paris "thinking about the very clear justice issues that are very much present around climate change".
A man salvages furniture from a flooded home.REUTERS/Mohamed Nureldin
"Any African leader will tell you that they've had very little role in putting the carbon in the air that's currently (there) but that they suffer most from the impacts of climate change: extreme weather events, the loss of arable land," he told journalists.
A recent report from the bank found that, without development that helps countries prepare for climate change, 43 million more people in sub-Saharan Africa - mostly in Ethiopia, Nigeria, Tanzania, Angola and Uganda - could fall into extreme poverty by 2030 due to lower crop yields, higher food prices and adverse health effects linked to climate change.
Despite these risks, funding for adaptation measures - including protecting infrastructure, growing hardier crops, building storm shelters, resettling at-risk families and issuing weather warnings - accounts for less than a fifth of total international funding for climate action.
The rest is spent on curbing greenhouse gas emissions by boosting renewable energy use and energy efficiency.

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

World Bank sets out plan to bolster Africa against climate change

By Megan Rowling, BRACED
BARCELONA - The World Bank aims to drive more funding into efforts to help African countries withstand climate change impacts and boost their clean energy production through a $16 billion plan revealed on Tuesday.
The "Africa Climate Business Plan" lays out investments to make the continent's people, land, water and cities more resilient to droughts, floods, storms and rising seas, increase access to green energy, and strengthen early warning systems.
World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim said sub-Saharan Africa is "highly vulnerable to climate shocks", which could have deep effects on everything from child stunting to malaria and food price increases.
"This plan identifies concrete steps that African governments can take to ensure that their countries will not lose hard-won gains in economic growth and poverty reduction, and they can offer some protection from climate change," he added in a statement.
The plan outlines measures for "fast-tracking" adaptation to climate change, costing almost $10.7 billion from 2016 to 2020.
Effect of floods in Banawa District, Kaduna, Nigeria.REUTERS/Stringer
They include helping some 10 million farmers adopt resource-efficient techniques and hardier crop varieties, improving water management in the Niger, Lake Chad and Zambezi basins, reducing coastal erosion, strengthening flood protection, and restoring degraded land and forests.
The African region requires $5 billion to $10 billion per year to prepare for global warming of 2 degrees Celsius, the plan said, an amount that could rise to $20 billion to $50 billion by mid-century.
But experts say pledges from some 170 countries to curb their planet-warming emissions would still permit global average temperatures to increase between 2.7 and 3.7 degrees from pre-industrial times, suggesting adaptation costs will be higher.
Levels of funding for adaptation in Africa today amount to an annual $3 billion at most, "which is negligible considering the needs", the World Bank plan said.
Ahead of U.N. climate talks in Paris from Monday, tasked with agreeing a new global deal to curb global warming, the bank said its plan's emphasis on climate adaptation fitted priorities expressed by African states in their national action plans submitted as a basis for the deal.

As water falls short, conflict between herders and farmers sharpens

By Wesley Langat
KIBOYA, Kenya - It is a hot, windy afternoon in Kiboya village. Dusty leaves swirl around William Ekidor, his wife Martha and their two sons as they sit under an acacia tree by the Kajunge dam, queuing with their animals for water.
Ekidor and his family, pastoralists who herd 140 cattle, sheep and goats for a living, have travelled over 10 kilometres (6 miles) to the dam, the only remaining water source in the area, and a major source of conflict in the lowland basin of Laikipia County.
"About three years ago, there was plenty of pasture and water," Ekidor explains. "Now seasons have become very unpredictable, disrupting our planning."
Longer dry seasons and uncertain rains have put pressure on pastoralists who normally migrate with their livestock to Olmoran ward, where Kiboya is located, during the dry season in search of pasture and water.
At the same time, growth in farming in the area has led to increased demand for water for crops and livestock by farmers.
Kiboya, about 250km (150 miles) from Nairobi, Kenya's capital, is inhabited by farmers who live mainly in higher altitude areas, while pastoralists tend to keep to the lower areas.
A herder grazes his cattle in a dry maize field in Laikipia, Kenya.TRF/Wesley Langat
But water shortages are now forcing the herders to move upstream, leading to clashes when their animals graze on farmers' land. It is a pattern that is playing out in other parts of Laikipia County too.
Kenya ranks high in vulnerability to climate change and low in readiness to deal with it, according to the University of Notre Dame Global Adaptation Index in 2014.
Laws as well as climate shifts play a role in conflict over resources.
Most land in Laikipia was until recently owned communally by pastoralists and administered by county councils, but the government sold 50 percent of it to ranchers in 2012, with the rest occupied by small-scale farmers.
The change in land rights has contributed to a tussle for water between farmers and the pastoralists, who feel deprived of land to graze their herds. They have the right to graze in the area, but it is subject to negotiation with landowners.
"We can't let our animals die, yet there are plenty of pastures and water in these farms," said Ekidor. "When hungry, the cows leave the manyattas (the pastoralists' homesteads) in the middle of the night. We find them in other people's farms in the morning."
With little pasture, difficult access to water, and long distances to travel - sometimes across farmers' land to reach grass or water - herder's work becoming more labour-intensive.

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Improved multilayer hermetic grain storage technology launched in Nyahururu

By Bob Aston
November 18, 2015 Laikipia County achieved a key milestone as A to Z group in collaboration with Cereal Growers Association (CGA) and Laikipia County Government launched AgroZ bag at Thompson Falls Lodge in Nyahururu.
Laikipia County Agriculture Director Mrs. Elizabeth Mwangi and Laikipia West Sub County Agriculture officer graced the launch. 
Mr Bhubhinder Singh launching agro Z  bag

Others included Ward Agriculture officers drawn from the six wards of Laikipia West Sub County, Laikipia Maize Value Chain Development Network, Arid Lands Information Network (ALIN), and farmer representatives.
Speaking during the launch, AgroZ Group Marketing and Sales Manager Mr. Bhubhinder Singh noted that Post-harvest losses of grains and pulses are extensive and a major threat to food security in the Country.
He said that the hermetic bags kills insects and preserves farm produce for three seasons. He noted that the water-resistant and gastight storage solution is ideal for grains and pulses like maize, dry beans, peas, rice, sorghum, millet, soybeans, seeds, wheat, cocoa, and coffee.
He noted that bag has an inner multilayer polyethylene (PE) liner of five barrier layers and an outer woven polypropylene (PP) raffia sack.
“The hermetic bag can store commodities for a long period of over a year without the risks of moisture gain or loss, insect pest infestation and fungal growth,” said Mr. Bhubhinder.
He added that bag deprives insects of oxygen that kills them and stops mold growth, preventing food losses and aflatoxin contamination.
Other benefits of the AgroZ bag include prevents post-harvest losses from insect pests, no fumigation or chemical application required, effective against all insect storage pests, reusable for up to 3 seasons, and no loss of weight during storage.
AgroZ staff demonstrating how the bags are tied
He said that farmers have to ensure that the inner liner is not holed or damaged when acquiring it or before use.  

During storage, it is advisable to remove all air pockets from the top of the grain then twisting the remaining part of the inner liner and after that bending it using the provided smooth tie.
The final step is to close the outer polypropylene (PP) bag and store in a dry cool place for at least one month before opening it in order to ensure suffocation of any insects introduced in the grain.
“The eco-friendly and pesticide-free hermetic storage bag preserves the quality and germination capacity of stored grains. It is ideal in preventing aflatoxin accumulation during storage,” said Mr. Bhubhinder.
He noted that the bags would help farmers reduce the high cost of chemicals used in preserving cereals. Transglobal Distributors Ltd. is distributing the AgroZ bag. Each is retailing at Kshs 250.

Vernacular radio plays a crucial role in building the resilience of rural communities

By Esther G. Lung’ahi, BRACED
Vernacular radio stations are ones, which broadcast in local languages. These stations are critical in disseminating climate information, which can help people make informed decisions about climate change interventions.
For communities living in arid and semi-arid environments, their livelihoods are particularly vulnerable due to frequent exposure to climate change impacts. Thus, these communities especially need access to climate information and support services to build their adaptive capacity – and they can best understand it in their own language.
“Wajir community radio is a very useful tool for communication. Their main broadcasting language is Somali, which is very convenient for us listeners. We can easily get on air, making our views and plights to be heard. It’s an eye opener for Wajir County people”, says Mr. Abdullahi Farah Matan, a listener and a fan of Wajir community radio.
Radio remains the most powerful, most accessible and the most affordable medium for reaching large numbers of people in isolated areas. Even the remotest villages have access to vernacular radio, which builds on the oral tradition of rural populations.
Radio Savane in Burkina Faso has been hosting climate change discussions/ K. Werntz
This is why Mercy Corps Kenya is working with partners in Wajir Kenya and Karamoja Uganda to use vernacular radio to increase awareness on climate change and help people build resilience to its impacts.
Wajir and Karamoja are drought prone areas, therefore, there is the need to strengthen early warning preparedness, contingency and response systems for the regions. 

Since these communities are largely pastoral and rely on oral communication, radio is the best medium for communicating messages in a largely patriarchal society. It also has a wide appeal among the elderly and the illiterate who do not have the advantage of reading and writing.

In addition to climate change information and advisories, the radio shows host discussions. Aired on Wajir community radio and Nana FM, the discussions are a a platform for pastoralists, farmers, technical advisors, policy makers and journalists to voice their opinion and flesh out climate change issues.
The discussions are moderated by a radio presenter to ensure callers remain on the topic of discussion and prevent any possible offensive messages.
The target audience is mainly influential men and women in the community who reinforce traditional gender norms. The radio talk show also hopes to reach religious voices particularly among the leaders.

Monday, 23 November 2015

Using art to create awareness and demand action on climate change

By Mercy Mumo
Climate change is the greatest threat facing humanity. The demand for energy has become too high with less regard on its effects on the environment. The youth have also been involved in creating awareness on climate change matters. Recently, a documentary dubbed Climate: Change the Conversation, premiered at the Alliance Francaise Auditorium in Nairobi on 11 November 2015.
Produced with the support of UNESCO, the French Embassy and the Embassy of Germany among other partners, the documentary combines music; spoken word, art and powerful narrative aimed at focusing the public on the negative impacts of climate change and calling everybody to do their part. It puts youth at the centre of those who stand to lose the most and whose urgent involvement in responding to threats posed by climate change is critical.
The young have been seen taking measures to mitigate climate change by planting trees, not littering the environment and conserving water. For instance, pupils from St. Georges Primary School in Nairobi are featured in the documentary demonstrating how they have been engaged in planting trees around the school.
From the welcome remarks made at the premiere, introducing climate change as a subject in the school curriculum was deemed important as well as raising awareness about the challenges and risks of climate change using art.
Some dignitaries during the documentary premiere.Photo:Mercy Mumo
Kenyans spend more on electricity than they should through vampire drains. 
Kenya Power, which is responsible for the transmission, distribution, and retail of electricity throughout the country, through its tips on energy saving measures, stipulates that it is advisable that electronic devices be unplugged when not in use.
This can save up to 50 percent on energy consumed. Another interesting fact highlighted at the screening was that cement is the second most consumed commodity after water yet little has been done on sensitizing its manufacturers on the production effects on the environment.
The documentary, which is a French-German cultural project, is geared at showcasing how each one of us has a role to play in protecting the environment while spreading the climate change message.
The documentary depicts how various climate change factors have changed food production, rainfall patterns, and the overall environment. Various governmental and non-governmental stakeholders who manage various climate change projects attended the screening.
Cultural specialist at UNESCO and Chief Operations Officer at Trust for African Rock Art Mr. Terry Little noted that many people still do not understand climate change. “To increase awareness, we have to keep sensitizing people through simplified messages on climate change and embrace art in the process of relaying the climate change message,” said Mr. Little.
He emphasized on the immediate need of taking responsibility of the environment by making sound choices on the environment; corrective action which can be achieved by adding our voices and sharing knowledge on climate change.
Ambassador of France to Kenya Rémi Maréchaux who graced the documentary screening noted that in the energy transition, Kenya has a big role to play in creating awareness on adoption of renewable energy as a climate change mitigation measure.
“People need to be sensitized on the reality of saving money through use of renewable energy while at the same time placing emphasis that green energy is indeed profitable,” averred the French Ambassador adding: “In order to reverse the negative effects of climate change, we have to go renewable.”
At the event was also the Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to Kenya Mrs Jutta Frasch who touched on how reduction of energy waste can be achieved. “In Nairobi, a lot of energy is wasted in traffic which could be improved by modern systems of traffic or enhancement of the public transport sector,” she said.
The German Ambassador also added that every one of us could contribute to protecting the environment on a small scale. “It starts with little things like throwing plastic bottles in a dust bin and not on the road where plastic blocks drainage systems.”
The overall message of the documentary is for people to understand the meaning of climate change and act responsibly.

Prioritizing climate change reporting ahead of COP21

By Bob Aston
Climate change is posing a great challenge to many communities in Kenya. Rise in temperature, decreasing rainfall trends, reduced mountain glaciers, frequent flooding, and prolonged droughts are clear signals of the urgency of increasing the coverage of climate change by the media.
The need for a more a informed public on climate change is a clear indication that it should be at the top of the media or public priority list.
The media can play a huge role in educating the public as well as helping in preventing the negative impacts of climate change by playing an active role in disseminating information about mitigation, preparedness, relief, and recovery.
Enhancing climate change reporting
In the run up to COP21, improving and prioritising reporting on climate change is of paramount importance. In Kenya, various climate change stakeholders are taking an initiative in ensuring the country has informed journalists reporting on El-Nino as a climate change phenomenon and its related disasters.

The Low Emission and Climate Resilient Development (LECRD) Project being implemented by the Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources and Regional Development Authorities (MENRRDA),  held a two days training on November 14-15, 2015 at Lake Naivasha Country Club in Nakuru County for 40 Journalists.
Alex Kubasu from Citizen TV doing a presentation during the training. Photo:Philip Dinga
The MENRRDA and the Media Council of Kenya jointly organized the training. Implementation of LECRD Project is by the MENRRDA with funding support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) through United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
The journalists, drawn from disaster prone areas and hot spots as well as environmental journalists from across national media houses were trained on different strategies for reporting on El-Nino, related preparedness and risk reduction. They gained skills on creating awareness on how El-Nino related disasters might affect communities and coverage of such stories.
The training not only reinforced capacity building of the climate knowledge management system in Kenya but also highlighted the important role played by journalists in reporting on El-nino as a climate change phenomenon.
LECRD Project
The training enabled journalists to learn more about the LECRD Project. The project aims to support Kenya’s efforts to pursue long-term, transformative development as well as accelerate sustainable climate resilient economic growth, while slowing the growth of greenhouse gas emissions.
The outcomes of the LECRD Project include enhanced national climate change coordination process, enhanced access to clean and efficient energy systems and creation of a sustainable greenhouse gas (GHG) emission system.
Others include enhanced national and County Government decision making on climate change intervention, contributing towards minimizing the impacts of extreme climate change and capacity building on climate knowledge management.
Understanding Climate Change
Most of the journalists concurred that before the training, distinction between individual weather events and climate change had always been a hard task. Most journalists have at times erred on how they report on climate change, since some of the information disseminated through the media is not factual.
Most journalists have been oblivious to the fact that extreme weather events do not confirm or weaken their linkage to climate change and that it is wrong to attribute individual weather events directly to climate change.
Some of the journalists during group discussions. Photo:Philip Dinga.
Some have been thinking of climate change as just an environmental issue. At the end of the workshop, the journalists indicated that they better understood the causes of climate change, mitigation measures, adaptation strategies, as well as projected impacts. They can now report on climate change with renewed confidence.
Looking beyond the training
Many of the journalists particularly those drawn from the broadcast media are now planning to influence their studio managers to start programmes tailored towards climate change issues. This will not only help to raise awareness of climate change but also encourage communities to implement coping strategies.
Ms. Purity Akoth, a freelance journalist based in Kisumu County noted that the training expanded her horizons on how to enrich her content, key elements of climate change to look at and especially her role as a journalist on how to mitigate, prepare, and offer relief and enriched information to her audience.
“I am now more informed on how I can report as a journalist. I will now be able to report in more depth on the effects of climate change. I am now able to build the awareness of the general public on the importance of incorporating climate change in their daily decisions,” said Ms. Akoth.
On her part, Ms. Maureen Ndamwe from Maata Radio in Lodwar, Turkana County noted that the training would enable her to do follow-ups with experts in climate change instead of always relying on politicians to provide her with information on the phenomenon.
 “We will now do more talk shows and even come up with programs specifically on climate change. Climate change is real and we have to give communities solutions on mitigation,” said Ms. Ndamwe.

Sunday, 22 November 2015

iPods, singing contests and Frisbees – new ways to communicate

By Laurie Goering, BRACED
If you live in a disaster-vulnerable community, what is the best way for you to learn how to improve your resilience? How might you effectively share what you learn with other communities?
The options for getting good information into practice go well beyond passing out pamphlets or holding community lectures, participants in a BRACED online discussion said this week. From community theatre to radio soap operas, and from text messages to games and competitions, innovative ideas for making information engaging – and making it stick – abound.
Lucia Scodanibbio, of the Adaptation at Scale in Semi-Arid Regions (ASSAR) programme, said projects she has worked with have had success holding youth song-writing competitions, aimed at coming up with catchy and memorable messages.
The entries, she said, were streamed on local radio and put on a Facebook page where people could vote on their favourites, with the winners performed at a town concert.
“People liked it a lot and it brought the town together around the topic” - in this case the importance of protecting mangroves, she said.

Children learn about hand washing Photo: Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre
Margot Steenbergen, of the Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre, said in her organisation’s experience, “simple mnemonics and memory aids like songs and rhymes work really well for (communicating) simple information.”
Songs are part of an effort to promote hand-washing in Ghana, for instance, she said, and “when we came back to one of the schools, it was great to see they were all singing one of our little songs… and had even translated it to their own dialect.”
Games can be similarly useful as a way to simply communicate ideas, and get people to engage with them, participants said.
Pablo Suarez of the Climate Centre, for instance, talks to disaster risk responders about the dangers of extreme weather by throwing a Frisbee into the audience, which they can catch with ease. “That’s the kind of storm you’re used to dealing with,” he says.
Then he launches an oversize soft Frisbee into the group, which wobbles and crashes into the crowd. “That’s the kind of storm that’s coming. Could you catch it?” he says. People immediately grasp the problem.
“You almost literally see a big “Aha!” happening” as people “see the weather”, Steenbergen said.
Her organisation has a range of easy-to-use games available, she said.
Community theatre and community radio – including soap-opera-style series – also can work well to pass on messages, if they’re in local languages people understand, and use local people as experts or actors, participants in the discussion said.