Francis Gachari

My name is Francis Gachari from Nairobi, Kenya.

Research description:

My research is based on predictability of severe hydrology events (droughts and floods) in the Eastern Africa region and to provide a reliable rainfall time-series which may be used for planning for sustained agricultural production.

The Broad impacts of the research are:

  • (i) Effective planning on the agricultural Sector.
  • (ii) Reliable disaster preparedness when severe hydrology events are forthcoming.
  • (iii) Effective mitigation measures during and after the extreme weather events.

The Scientific instruments to be applied in the current research include numeric weather prediction methods (NWPs) and Ensemble Prediction Products (EPSs).

We are collaborating locally with Kenya meteorological department for local historical data and model calibration.

Computation needs:

Computation needs include ability to access and perform runs on High performance computers and/or obtain computation products from model runs. This requires effective networking capacity. The products are generated here in the US and need to be accessible from Africa.

Research Obstacles:

At the moments difficulties encountered in my research activities range from lack of adequate access to global data, low capacity computing facilities, poor networking with collaborators within Africa and the US to lack of skilled mentors. There is need to train more people who will provide the necessary skills to raise the level of climate expertise in Africa. Software often needs to be upgraded in order that becomes compatible with the upcoming products. At the moments data sharing is inhibited by the available data transfer options.


Most of the African countries fail to allocate substantial funding for climate research. The main reason is that there is often more urgent and basic needs. The current drought condition prevailing on the greater horn of Africa is a good example. The available funding is used to address the emergency. Yet, expert climate knowledge is essential for economic growth since most of the economies rely on rain-fed agriculture. To emerge from this situation, external funding is required otherwise, most of Africa will continue to rely on humanitarian aid each time unfavorable weather condition prevail.

Thank You.

Thursday, August 04, 2011