ITIKI

This is my innovation; it refers to a novel bridge that delivers a drought early warning system (DEWS) composed of three elements: (1) Drought Knowledge (2) Drought Monitoring and Prediction; abackgroundImagend (3) Drought Communication and Dissemination. ITIKI; acronym for Information Technology and Indigenous Knowledge with Intelligence is a bridge that integrates indigenous drought forecasting approach into the scientific drought forecasting approach. ITIKI was conceptualised from itiki which is the name used among the Mbeere people (where I was born and grew up,the community is found in the Eastern part of Kenya), to refer to an indigenous bridge made using sticks and was used for decades to go across rivers.

Until mid 90s, this bridge used to be constructed by ‘experts’ who possessed indigenous knowledge on the rivers terrain as well as on the strength of the various trees along the rivers and the trees ability to sustain the weight that the bridge would eventually carry. Such was the accuracy of this knowledge that during the 1992 floods, a newly constructed modern bridge was swept away while the itiki nearby was left standing (witnessed by the author).

To tackle the diverse characteristics of these two knowledge systems, ITIKI is hinged on three ICTs: (1) mobile phones; (2) Wireless sensor networks; (3) Artificial Intelligence (agents, fuzzy logic and artificial neural networks).

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