For the next two weeks, members of the Kulima team will be participating in the first testbeds in southern Africa. The testbeds are run as part of the ongoing Weather and Climate Information Services (WISER) Early Warnings for Southern Africa, which aims to co-produce short term weather alerts for thunderstorms.

During the testbeds, which will take place simultaneously in Lusaka, Maputo and Ekurhuleni, forecasters will issue prototypes of “nowcasts” that are able to monitor and track the formation and movement of thunderstorms. Community observers will receive this information via cellphone and validate its accuracy and the impact of extreme weather events. Daily community hubs will convene the community observers with a wider range of urban community members, with a particular focus on women and people with disability, to work together to define impact levels and co-produce levels of alert.

The community hubs will also provide an opportunity to provide training on weather and early warnings to urban community members who have expressed an interest in having more information to be able to better reduce their own risk.