, NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 2 – An award scheme for innovations that could revolutionise how Kenyans access accurate climate information was launched in Nairobi on Friday.
Dubbed the Climate Information Prize competition and funded by the UK Department for International Development, it has been set up as an incentive to the development of innovative solutions in a bid to make climate information more useable for poor and vulnerable communities in Kenya.
Winning models will put poor individuals and households in control and enable them to access the information they need in order to better tackle climate uncertainty and risk.
Climate Change Adviser for DFID Kenya Sabita Thapa who spoke during the launch says the prize is part of the Ideas to Impact Programme funded by DFID which is seeking to explore how innovation prizes can benefit vulnerable communities.
The first prize to be launched under the Climate Information Prize is the Wazo Prize.
Entries will be submitted online on the Climate Information Prize digital platform accessible through the website – www.climateinfomationnprize.org.
Beatrice Kinyanjui, Regional Director, Cardno Emerging Markets said, “Submissions for the Wazo Prize shall be open from 30th September 2015 and closes on 7th February 2016. A judging panel will be constituted to review the quality of the ideas submitted.”
“The awards ceremony will be held at the end of March 2016, where the top fifteen ideas will be awarded cash prizes. The Wazo Prize will consist of monetary prize awards with a particular focus on the recognition, showcasing, and publicity of novel ideas and actors in the area of climate information.”
Senior Assistant Director of Meteorological Services at the Kenya Meteorological Department David Gikungu on his part lamented that the climate has had adverse effects on individuals and communities in Kenya especially where livelihoods are based on weather dependent resources.
“We believe that the more knowledge the public and policy makers have on weather, the more they will appreciate and be supportive of efforts aimed at improving the quality of weather forecasts,” he said during the launch.
“We believe that the Climate Information Prize is a great concept that will connect our weather researchers and scientists closer to the public who desire to understand and predict the weather.”
The Climate Information Prize is the first prize of its kind to be introduced and funded by DFID.
The competition will be managed by Cardno Emerging Markets (EA) Limited on behalf of the DFID Ideas to Impact Programme.