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Crop productivity and food security in Africa pivots on the weather. Malaria and other chronic diseases are also tightly linked to patterns of rainfall, evaporation, and temperature.  But African hydro-meteorological data is virtually non-existent, and crop failures and disease outbreaks are frequent.  Further, there is nearly no basis for the determination of how the African climate is changing.  We must address this now, for each day we lose is information that we will never again be able to collect.

We propose to address this problem by installing 20,000 on-the-ground sensing stations across the African continent, specifically designed to provide rainfall, temperature, and other critical data with robust redundant sensors and real-time cell-phone uplink.  TAHMO will make high-quality data freely available to governments, scientists and farmers in real time via the Internet from stations installed at 30 km spacing.  The project will make it possible for Africa to leapfrog to one of the best-monitored continents in the world.

Stations will be located primarily at schools and universities, with TAHMO providing science curriculum materials and connections between schools and others in the network.  Hosted by science teachers who will receive stipends for their caretaking of stations, the data collected by stations will also provide a foundation for scientific education and research grounded in environmental factors in which students can directly participate.  TAHMO is based on a sustainable, self-funded model where commercial partners pay for use of these data.

The team is made up of leaders from academia with decades of African experience:

  • Dr. John Selker, Oregon State University, Department of Biological & Ecological Engineering;
  • Dr. Nick van de Giesen, Delft University (Holland), Faculty of Civil Engineering and Geosciences;
  • Rolf Hut, Delft University, Research Staff, Faculty of Civil Engineering and Geosciences.

 

 

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