Remembering the ‘old ways’

A project that links high-tech weather forecasting with traditional knowledge is being piloted in the Pacific island nation of Tuvalu in an effort to help people cope with climate change and disasters. The idea is to strengthen people’s resilience by delivering effective weather, climate and early warning information to affected communities in local languages and in ways that will be understood and accepted by local communities. Olioliga Iosua, secretary general of the Tuvalu Red Cross Society, says this information, combined with traditional knowledge, will help people in the target community of Teone cope better with disasters. “There are old ways of coping with hardship that we need to revive, like how to dry, salt or bury food to keep it fresh, sometimes for years,” she said. “It’s in the Red Cross disaster plan. Young people are used to buying food, but older people remember these older ways.”

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