10 February 2019, ENTEBBE (Uganda): The IGAD Climate Prediction and Applications Centre (ICPAC) today closed a two-day workshop for media practitioners and communication staff members from weather forecast agencies of the member countries. ICPAC is a specialised institution within the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD).
Around thirty participants undertook this “Climate Communications Training” which equipped them with the reporting techniques and climate knowledge needed for effective science communication and advocacy journalism. This will in turn contribute to educating and raising public awareness in matters of climate issues and use of weather forecast information.
The participants were also exposed to Climate Science basics, including exercises on:
- what drives year-to-year changes in seasons of the Greater Horn of Africa; and
- assignments to prepare articles on coproduction and communication of seasonal forecasts.
This is the third training of its kind. The first training was organised at the Greater Horn of Africa Climate Outlook Forum (GHACOF 44) in Kampala in August 2016, and the second one at the GHACOF 45 in Addis Ababa in February 2017.
This workshop was made possible with funding and technical support from the WISER2 Support to ICPAC Project (W2SIP), a project within the Weather and Climate Information Services for Africa (WISER) Programme. The W2SIP consortium is led by ICPAC with delivery partners including the United Kingdom Met Office, International Research Institute for Climate and Society, CARE International, and North Carolina State University, and is funded by the government of the United Kingdom. The WISER Weather Wise project also supported attendance of additional participants and assisted with facilitation.
The WISER Phase 2 Support to ICPAC Project (W2SIP) is a two-year project meant to strengthening IGAD ICPAC’s capacity to support the region’s National Meteorological and Hydrological Services as well as regional partners such as The Network of Climate Journalists of the Greater Horn of Africa (NECJOGHA).
During a side interview at the end of the training, one of the trainers in the person of Mr. Patrick Luganda, Chair of the NECJOGHA, noted the training was a response to need to enhance the capacity of media personnel to work with climate and weather scientists in the coproduction of climate products such as the seasonal climate outlook for the region. “Journalists and reporters were also trained on producing the downscaled products with the national meteorological services. It is all about working together to coproduce better climate services and delivery to end users”, he said.
ICPAC member countries are Burundi, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda.