The RainMakers of Nganyi
Researchers at Kenyan universities were faced with a problem: the weather forecasts that they were providing weren’t being taken seriously. Faced with climate change and climatic extremes, farmers were losing crops and finding it increasingly difficult to predict the weather. The researchers hoped their forecasts would help people adapt to climate extremes, but the people did not trust the scientific forecasts and listened only to traditional rainmakers. So they began to use rainmakers in the village of Nganyi, Western Kenya, as communication agents in an attempt to convince people to listen to their forecasts. But then they started to notice striking similarities between their predictions and those of the rainmakers. Were they really forecasters? Were they really meteorologists? And can they make it rain? This is the story of how new research is bringing ancient and modern ways of knowing together to build climate resilience in Africa.