[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent="no" hundred_percent_height="no" hundred_percent_height_scroll="no" hundred_percent_height_center_content="yes" equal_height_columns="no" menu_anchor="" hide_on_mobile="small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility" class="" id="" background_color="" background_image="" background_position="center center" background_repeat="no-repeat" fade="no" background_parallax="none" enable_mobile="no" parallax_speed="0.3" video_mp4="" video_webm="" video_ogv="" video_url="" video_aspect_ratio="16:9" video_loop="yes" video_mute="yes" video_preview_image="" border_size="" border_color="" border_style="solid" margin_top="" margin_bottom="" padding_top="" padding_right="" padding_bottom="" padding_left="" admin_label="Hero Image" admin_toggled="no"][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type="1_1" layout="1_1" spacing="" center_content="no" link="" target="_self" min_height="" hide_on_mobile="small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility" class="" id="" background_color="" background_image="" background_position="left top" background_repeat="no-repeat" hover_type="none" border_size="0" border_color="" border_style="solid" border_position="all" padding_top="" padding_right="" padding_bottom="" padding_left="" dimension_margin="" animation_type="" animation_direction="left" animation_speed="0.3" animation_offset="" last="no"][fusion_imageframe image_id="20417" style_type="none" stylecolor="" hover_type="none" bordersize="" bordercolor="" borderradius="" align="none" lightbox="no" gallery_id="" lightbox_image="" alt="" link="" linktarget="_self" hide_on_mobile="small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility" class="" id="" animation_type="" animation_direction="left" animation_speed="0.3" animation_offset=""]https://globalcommunities.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/ar2017-greener-pastures-hero.jpg[/fusion_imageframe][/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container][fusion_builder_container admin_label="Written Content Title" hundred_percent="no" hundred_percent_height="no" hundred_percent_height_scroll="no" hundred_percent_height_center_content="yes" equal_height_columns="no" menu_anchor="" hide_on_mobile="small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility" class="" id="" background_color="" background_image="" background_position="center center" background_repeat="no-repeat" fade="no" background_parallax="none" enable_mobile="no" parallax_speed="0.3" video_mp4="" video_webm="" video_ogv="" video_url="" video_aspect_ratio="16:9" video_loop="yes" video_mute="yes" video_preview_image="" border_size="" border_color="" border_style="solid" margin_top="" margin_bottom="" padding_top="40px" padding_right="" padding_bottom="" padding_left=""][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type="1_6" layout="1_1" spacing="" center_content="no" link="" target="_self" min_height="" hide_on_mobile="small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility" class="" id="" background_color="" background_image="" background_position="left top" background_repeat="no-repeat" hover_type="none" border_size="0" border_color="" border_style="solid" border_position="all" padding_top="" padding_right="" padding_bottom="" padding_left="" dimension_margin="" animation_type="" animation_direction="left" animation_speed="0.3" animation_offset="" last="no"][/fusion_builder_column][fusion_builder_column type="2_3" layout="1_1" spacing="" center_content="no" link="" target="_self" min_height="" hide_on_mobile="small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility" class="" id="" background_color="" background_image="" background_position="left top" background_repeat="no-repeat" hover_type="none" border_size="0" border_color="" border_style="solid" border_position="all" padding_top="" padding_right="" padding_bottom="" padding_left="" dimension_margin="" animation_type="" animation_direction="left" animation_speed="0.3" animation_offset="" last="no"][fusion_title margin_top="" margin_bottom="" hide_on_mobile="small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility" class="" id="" size="3" content_align="center" style_type="default" sep_color=""]Greener Pastures in Africa[/fusion_title][fusion_text]

PCI's first social enterprise helps pastoral communities survive

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A chance meeting on a remote road in Ethiopia led to a life-changing mobile app for pastoralists in Africa.

While responding to an ongoing drought in the Afar region of Ethiopia, Chris Bessenecker, PCI's Vice President for Strategic Initiatives, crossed paths with a pastoralist and his family. With only word of mouth and other traditional methods to rely on, they had trekked for two weeks in search of pasture for their animals. Having found none, they were about to lose their remaining herd to hunger.

The family's story represents the plight of more than 225 million pastoralists across Africa whose livelihoods depend on their livestock. On average, these nomadic shepherds lose about a third of their herds each year - mainly due to lack of pasture and water.

Since 2013, PCI has been working to address this challenge with support from Google.org and USAID. In partnership with pastoralists, we created a program that provides critical information on vegetation and water availability through custom-tailored, satellite-generated maps. During the pilot stage in Ethiopia, where maps were distributed in paper form, herd deaths were nearly cut in half. Now, the program has expanded to Kenya and Tanzania and evolved from using paper-based resources to a mobile app called AfriScout.

By complementing traditional strategies with modern technology, pastoralists use AfriScout to download maps in real time and make more accurate and cost-effective migration decisions. Unlike the paper maps, the AfriScout maps can be enlarged to show the presence of surface water. Pastoralists are also able to use the app to share information with each other through peer-to-peer alerts about predators, animal diseases, conflicts and restricted grazing areas.

"Previously, we went on foot in search of pasture and it was a journey of guessing with no clues where to head. … Sometimes heading to areas of no pasture and then back home unsuccessful, while our cattle died in front of us," said Bakkar Issa, a pastoralist in the Oromia region of Ethiopia. "This map has eliminated yesterday's suffering, thirst and hunger we experienced through arbitrary scouting. It has many benefits. Initially we didn't believe it, but after we have gone to those specific locations and verified it works, everybody has been using it."

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Pastoralists can download AfriScout for a six-month free trial period and then sign up for a yearly subscription at a nominal fee. With over 1,800 registered users and approximately 100 new users every week, PCI's first social enterprise has the potential to be an innovative and sustainable climate adaptation strategy for people living on the margins.

NOTABLE NUMBERS

  • Over 82,700 households are currently using AfriScout maps for migration decisions and 1,800 users registered for the mobile app in the past four months.
  • 99% of users in Tanzania and 97% in Ethiopia stated the paper maps were accurate or very accurate.
  • 94% of users in Tanzania and 76% in Ethiopia said the paper maps saved them time.
  • 69% of users in Tanzania and 32% in Ethiopia said the paper maps reduced livestock death.

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