Prof’s tool on global stage

2019-04-03 06:00
Prof. Muthoni MasindePhoto: Supplied

Prof. Muthoni MasindePhoto: Supplied

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A professor at the Central University of Technology (CUT), Free State, Masinde Muthoni, has taken her drought prediction tool to greater heights.

Her innovative tool is on exhibition at the World Bank Water Practice Week held in Washington, DC.

The global event is set to draw to a close on Thursday (04/04), having started on Tuesday (02/04).

Muthoni is one of some 500 innovators participating.

The event brings together partners and practitioners with World Bank staff and clients to connect the best global knowledge with implementation – and bring cutting-edge solutions to critical challenges across major business lines.

This year’s event is aimed at promoting global learning and dialogue, designed around the three strategic pillars of sustaining water resources, delivering services and building resilience, while also drawing from expertise and experience across the World Bank Group, including the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (Miga).

Global stakeholders, the United States Agency for International Development (Usaid), Sweden through the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, and the Governments of The Netherlands and South Africa, invested $35 million in Securing Water for Food (SWFF) to promote science and technology solutions that enable the production of more food with less water or make more water available for food production, processing and distribution.

Muthoni’s presentation focuses on several aspects.

Firstly, this is a project worthy of serious investment, and secondly, her metho­dology’s success in increasing crop yields has been demonstrated in South Africa, Kenya, and Mozambique.

Thirdly there is a need to raise awareness of the programme so that it can be exported to even more African countries suffering from drought.

Muthoni’s innovation implements a balance of using indigenous knowledge with scientific weather forecasts to predict localised weather.

Her innovative drought prediction tool can be able to measure drought accounts for 80% of the calamities that befall this region of Africa.

The conditions in her native Kenya spurred Muthoni’s educational interest in meteorology.

Muthoni said if farmers could predict when and where rain would fall and would not fall in a specified region, they could plan accordingly with water conservation, planting and irrigation.

“This is a truly unique innovation. Only the farmers in these regions can know that the knowledge they live with daily can help predict weather patterns,” she said.

Muthoni is a computer scientist, an entrepreneur and a practicing mete­orologist who gravitated to the field when she saw how rain patterns had impacted the region in which she grew up.

This is a truly unique innovation. Only the farmers in these regions can know that the knowledge they live with daily can help predict weather patterns. Masinde Muthoni


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