Examining the Adoption of ICTs for Weather Monitoring and Climate Change Adaptation in Uganda

Examining the Adoption of ICTs for Weather Monitoring and Climate Change Adaptation in Uganda

Agnes Rwashana Semwanga (Makerere University College of Computing and Information Sciences, Kampala, Uganda) and Alice Mary Atwine (Makerere University College of Computing and Information Sciences, Kampala, Uganda)
DOI: 10.4018/IJICTRAME.2020010104

Abstract

Information communication technologies can only be beneficial to developing countries struggling to build adaptation capacity if technology adoption frameworks are tailored to suit their specific characteristics. The lack of timely, accurate, and reliable weather data and the increasing rate at which climate-related disasters are destroying lives and property in Uganda is evident of lack of good weather forecasts. The study set out to investigate the factors affecting ICT adoption and determine the technologies being used to respond to climate change effects. Specifically, the study set out the extent of use and the factors hindering or guiding ICT adoption. Factors hindering ICT adoption ranging from poor infrastructure to limited government support were established. The strategies that can be used to resolve challenges of ICT adoption, the major stakeholders, their responsibilities and how ICT adoption and utilisation can be enhanced to benefit other sectors of the economy is presented.
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Introduction

The most vulnerable countries are the hardest hit by the effects of climate change such as unpredictable rainfall, landslides and floods yet the information and communication technology are a tool which can be used to mitigate, adapt to and monitor climate change (Zanamwe and Okunoye, 2013). The lack of timely, accurate and reliable weather data as well as the increasing rate at which climate-related disasters such as storms and floods, are destroying lives and property in Uganda shows lack of good weather forecasts (Environmental Alert, 2010). According to Nsubuga and Rautenbach (2018), the daily records for Uganda are still scarce due to inhomogeneity found in station records and this affects research on weather information. The inconsistencies in the data captured and information released bring dissatisfaction about the weather data capturing technologies being used. There is need to use ICTs to process climatic data and disseminate information to assist decision makers in forecasting, planning and decision making thereby addressing both short-term and chronic impacts if they are to be relevant to adaptation (Karanasios, 2011; Ospina and Heeks, 2010).

ICT development in Africa is seldom based on research and development which explains the failure to sustain technology for development (Ospina and Heeks, 2010). Evidence on existence of technology adoption frameworks for better technology transfer and sustainability is lacking. Although existing frameworks have been successful in developed countries, these may not directly apply in developing countries (Hall & Khan, 2003). There is therefore the need to have technology transfer and adoption frameworks for developing countries so that they can meet the local needs and priorities as well as find sustainable paths to successful use and development. Factors like under-developed infrastructure, low literacy rates, ignorance of the benefits of ICTs, low rate of computer usage, low stakeholder influence, weak support structures from national government and so many others have hindered successful use and adoption of these technologies. Oladosu et al. (2009) suggest that frameworks for technology adoption be tailored to suit specific countries and user characteristics.

The purpose of this study was to establish the extent to which ICTs have been utilised, and the factors hindering or guiding their adoption so that a framework to direct weather monitoring and climate change adaptation management in Uganda can be developed.

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