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DARAJA: Transforming Weather Information into Urban Resilience in East Africa
Partner: DARAJA, Resurgence
Implementers: Kounkuey Design Initiative (KDI) in Nairobi, the Centre for Community Initiatives (CCI) in Dar es Salaam, Resurgence, the Kenya Meteorological Department (KMD), the Tanzania Meteorological Authority (TMA) and array of key local community partners and leaders.
Country & Region:Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Sudan and Uganda – Africa
Impact System: Human Settlements /Early Warning Systems
Beneficiaries / Impact: 982,000 people benefited to date
In the heart of bustling Nairobi and vibrant Dar es Salaam lies an initiative that is transforming the way urban communities interact with weather and climate information. This initiative, aptly named DARAJA – meaning ‘bridge’ in Swahili, is more than just a project; it’s a bridge to a safer, more resilient future for the residents of informal settlements in these cities.
“People want to know how the weather is going to be, so they can plan their daily activities” Jame Kirika, Community leader Kibera, Nairobi,
DARAJA is not just a bridge; it’s a lifeline for vulnerable urban communities. It has demonstrated that with the right partnerships and a commitment to providing accessible weather and climate information, communities can become more resilient.
The DARAJA Approach:
DARAJA operates on a systems-wide approach, connecting key stakeholders critical to the co-design and delivery of weather and climate information services (WCIS) in urban areas. These include:
Vulnerable Urban Residents: The heart of DARAJA, empowering residents of informal settlements.
National Weather Agencies: Providing vital climate information to urban residents.
Civil Protection and Disaster Management Agencies: Ensuring the safety of urban communities during extreme weather events.
Infrastructure Operators: Serving the needs of these communities.
Media Houses and Telecommunications Companies: Disseminating crucial information.
Schools: Educating future generations about weather resilience.
The DARAJA Service:
DARAJA delivers its services through a digital platform, a hub for a growing network of partners engaged in its deployments. This platform hosts a range of digital tools, apps, and resources, making vital weather information accessible to all. We will use the platform as a key resource to continue scaling but also deliver service via the UK Met Office, National Meteorological Agencies, and community partner organisations.
The impact of DARAJA is profound, already reaching nearly a million residents in Nairobi, Kenya and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania during the first DARAJA project in 2018 – 2020.
Up to a 20:1 benefit-cost ratio (BCR) showcases the value of enhanced productivity and avoided climate-related damage.
Access to actionable WCIS increased from 56% to 93% in Nairobi, affecting a minimum of 800,000 residents directly.
98% of residents use DARAJA information services to prepare for extreme weather, leading to significant actions such as home and roof repairs (up by 300%), moving possessions to safer places (up by 166%), and increased drainage cleaning efforts both at household (up by 110%) and community levels (up by 68%).
DARAJA’s success in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam is a testament to the positive impact that this initiative can bring to cities worldwide, creating a future where extreme weather events are met with preparedness and resilience, not devastation.
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