Consensus Forecast On Climate Change - Hocus Pocus.
Long vilified as sorcerers, Kenya's Nganyi rainmakers -- with meteorological equipment consisting of trees, pots and herbs -- are being enlisted to mitigate the effects of climate change.
The croak of the frog, the movement of the termites, the leafing of certain trees all carry information, the interpretation of which the Nganyi have transformed into a ritual art hovering between legend and science.
Modernisation slowly eroded the community's aura but the Nganyi have recently been offered a way of reviving their traditions through a project aimed at using indigenous knowledge in disaster prevention.
Funded by Britain and Canada, the programme brings the Kenya Meteorology Department (KMD) and traditional rainmakers together to produce more accurate forecasts and disseminate them to a wider number.
Ouma explains that traditional prediction methods have their limitations and that the project's main goal is to produce a consensus forecast that can be disseminated through indigenous channels.
"This project is part of an early warning system... We are helping people to adapt to climate change," Ouma says.
But Ouma, a PhD meteorologist, doesn't dismiss the Nganyi's art altogether and argues that what may seem to some like primitive hocus-pocus contains a wealth of untapped scientific information.