COMBATING CLIMATE CHANGE THROUGH EDUCATION OF INDIGENOUS KNOWLEDGE AND INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY
Climate change is no longer a theory but a reality that is impacting on people’s livelihoods and wellbeing every where on this globe. No where on this earth is this impact felt more intensely than in Sub- Saharan Africa where millions of people depend directly on nature for survival. Climate change is by no means a new phenomenon, although cumulative activities of man have increased it to unprecedented proportions in the last few decades.
Throughout history therefore, indigenous communities have been able to acquire and apply the necessary knowledge to survive under changing environmental circumstance. This knowledge is still available but untapped in the current education system especially in Africa.
Indigenous communities have vast knowledge of weather patterns through observation of plant growth, animal and insect behavior etc. This knowledge could be tapped and incorporated in modern weather predicting systems to help communities better understand and respond to the phenomenon of climate change.
Indigenous knowledge has developed over generations through the process of the communities’ interaction with the environment and its continuity depends on its transition and the ability of the young generation to acquire and practice it. Now it has to be recorded, documented and formally taught using modern methods.
It is proposed in this paper that reviving this knowledge through formal education institutions coupled with the use of modern information technology, will greatly enhance African communities’ ability to combat and adapt to the current phenomenon of climate change.