Information communication technologies and their contribution to climate change adaptation in the cattle corridor, Uganda
Information communication technologies (ICTs) have a considerable potential to support innovative approaches and influence society to respond, prepare for and adapt to the extreme incidences of climate-induced droughts and water challenges that distress the quantity and quality of crop and livestock productivity. This study was carried out in 4 districts located in the cattle corridor of Uganda, the second most fragile ecosystem in Uganda with a high vulnerability to climate variability and change. The study aimed at assessing existing ICTs and their contribution to climate change adaptation in the cattle corridor. Household data were collected using a structured questionnaire from 640 respondents using a stratified multi-stage sampling approach. The specific objectives of the study were to: establish the range of existing ICTs and sources of climate-related information and how these are associated with climate change adaptation, the current information needs of households for adaptation to climate change and to assess the determinants of household level use of ICTs for adaptation to climate change. Results indicated that climate-related information is majorly generated by Uganda Meteorology Department and disseminated primarily through radio (96.5%) broadcast. Of the respondents who accessed the weather forecast, 60% did not use it to make adaptation decisions majorly due to its unreliability. Information on early warning about drought and floods, market for crops and livestock and termite damage control was the most required by households to enhance adaptation. Probit regression model results indicated that factors that positively and significantly drive ICT use at household level are: experience in using ICTs, livestock keeping as sources of livelihood, larger size of cultivated land managed, frequency of receiving weather forecast and time taken to reach nearest water source during droughts. Efforts to respond to climate change in the cattle corridor should invest in mobile phone ICT infrastructure, extend effective technological access particularly to livestock farmers, as well as disseminate location-specific weather forecast and advisories.