Quality and dissemination of information from a drought early warning system in Karamoja sub-region, Uganda (ScienceDirect Publication: Journal of Arid Environments)

Publication date: Available online 23 June 2017
Source:Journal of Arid Environments
Author(s): D. Akwango, B.B. Obaa, N. Turyahabwe, Y. Baguma, A. Egeru
Drought Early Warning Systems (DEWS) are instrumental in drought mitigation because they provide drought-prone communities with information on how to mitigate and cope with drought. This study assesses the quality of DEWS information in the Karamoja sub-region of Uganda. Data were collected from 173 households that accessed information from DEWS in Kotido and Nakapiripirit districts. A three way interaction model was used to determine the socio-economic factors associated with preference for information channels. It was established that land size and level of education significantly influenced preference for information channels. The study also found that information from DEWS was applicable, relevant, and understandable though not delivered in a timely manner. Slightly more than half (51%) of the respondents accessed information from Parish Chiefs. Although most respondents stated that they preferred radio (69%), it was the least used. The households also used traditional methods like observing the direction of wind and examining animal intestines to predict drought. The study concluded that information from DEWS was of good quality although it was poorly disseminated. There is need to enhance the timeliness of information dissemination if the system is to effectively enhance community preparedness to cope the effects of drought.