The weather station in Ongino is updated by volunteer Teddy Acom on a daily basis.
Droughts and floods in Teso have become a common occurrence in the last ten years, making food security an issue of paramount importance to the district administration.
“Information logged daily by a volunteer can be deciphered for the ordinary person,” says Valdo odeke, an agricultural officer.
“This enables farmers to plant or prepare the garden knowing what and when the rain is coming.”
The weather station in Ongino is updated by volunteer Teddy Acom on a daily basis. The findings are compared with data from other stations across the world and the future can be predicted accurately.
“This does not only help Kumi but neighboring districts like Karamoja, Bugisu, Sebei and Soroti,” reveals Acom.
“This information enables farmers decide whether to plants cassava, upland rice or potatoes.”
Acom, a volunteer, updates the data entry at the weather station. (Credit: Titus Kakembo)
With funding from ActionAid and the local government, the weather station is equipped with state-of-the-art equipment. The computers are solar powered. The vital information is relayed on FM stations, the local Etop paper and from person to person.
“To improve livelihood, we campaign for good hygiene, planting of trees, checking agents of soil erosion and rainwater harvesting,” says Acom.
“This business of the gods wreaking havoc on the people is no more. There are no rainmakers as it were in the past.”
A tour of Kidongole, Kumi and Bukedea reveals more animal traction replacing human labour in clearing the land.
Most homes convert weeds into briquettes instead of using firewood. Most homes report having more than a meal per day. Others rear goats and poultry to ably sell one and buy food in case famine strikes.