The Uganda Department of Meteorology, Ericsson, MTN, National Lake Rescue Institute and the World Meteorological Organization are piloting an SMS service called “Mobile Weather Alert” which uses mobile technology to provide forecasts of severe weatherand improve safety for fishermen on Lake Victoria.
A two-day training workshop in Kampala from 4th to 5th May will train community leaders so they understand what the weather alerts mean.These community leaders will in turn will each recruit and train other fishermen on Ssese Island, Lake Victoria to use the service for a 3 month trial period.
More than 5000 people lose their lives on Lake Victoria each year. Most of them drown as a result of high winds and waves associated with convective storms on the lake.The aim of the Mobile Weather Alert project is to reduce the casualty toll. The Lake supports nearly 200,000 fishermen, with a fishing fleet of more than 70,000 boats and so is vital to the local economy.
The main launch of the Mobile Weather Alertproject will take place in July.