This paper discusses the role of indigenous knowledge (IK) in weather and climate prediction in Mahenge and Ismani wards focusing on Safari Road and Mahenge Mjini villages in Mahenge; and Uhominyi and Ismani Tarafani villages in Ismani. The perception of local communities about climate change is assessed. Local environmental and astronomical indicators used by local communities in weather and climate prediction are identified and documented. A team of five IK experts in both Mahenge and Ismani was identified and assigned the task of making continuous observations of the IK indicators and producing seasonal rainfall forecast for the purpose of testing the accuracy and reliability of IK. Key informant interviews and Focus Group Discussions (FGDs) approaches were used in data collection regarding existing IK in weather forecast. A total of 120 respondents were interviewed in study Mahenge and Ismani wards respectively. A Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS) was used for data analysis. More than 83% of the respondents were found to be aware of climate change. Plant phenology, particularly that of mango trees was found to be the most used indicator in both wards. An assessment of the forecasted and observed 2011/2012 seasonal rainfall indicates comparable results.
Key words: Adaptation, climate variability and change, indigenous knowledge and weather prediction.
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