New mobile phone app guides pastoralists to green pastures and water
PCI’s AfriScout launches today at Enchula Resort in Kajiado, Kenya
Project Concern International (PCI) has launched Afriscout – a service for pastoralists to find pasture and water using the power of satellite and mobile technology in Kajiado County.
AfriScout uses community defined, custom grazing maps overlaid with satellite vegetation data that is continuously updated and accessed via mobile phone.
Implemented in three countries: Kenya, Ethiopia, and Tanzania, the maps have proven to be highly useful for pastoralists reducing mortality for herds by half, saving time in search of pasture, as well as improving collective pasture management.
“We are putting the tools pastoralists need in their own hands to make their own decisions. The value of this innovation is derived not simply from technology, but from working with local pastoralists to fuse indigenous knowledge with technology to create better and more effective migration decisions,” said Carrie Hessler-Radelet, President & CEO of PCI.
The mobile app-based service will be provided to pastoral households for a six-month no-cost trial period, after which they will have the option to sign up for yearly subscription at a nominal fee. Since October 2017, the mobile application has registered over 1,600 users with approximately 100 new users each week.