How Kenya Borana pastoralists forecast climate variation
The paper “The use of indigenous climate forecasting methods by the pastoralists of Northern Kenya” (Anastasia Kagunyu et al, 2016, published in Pastoralism: Research, Policy and Practice) focuses on the early-warning signs of climate variation used by the Borana community of Isiolo County, Kenya. A study was made of how the Borana predict the onset of rainfall, floods and droughts. It was found that the Borana’s early-warning signs include animal and bird behaviour, presence of insects, clouds, colour of the intestines of slaughtered livestock, flowering of plants and the pattern of stars. However, the increasing severity and frequency of drought over recent years has rendered indigenous forecasting less reliable than in the past. It is recommended to combine the indigenous early-warning indicators with modern forecasting methods to make them more appropriate.