Spotted: Building climate resilience is a necessity for most island-dwelling communities, including those on Indonesia’s Sumbawa Island. Many villagers on the island farm, and families depend heavily on the regularity of the rainy season to decide when to plant and harvest. The world’s increasingly unpredictable weather is making each growing season more and more of a challenge.
An international collaboration between the country’s Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB), global non-profit World Neighbors, and the USA’s Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance aims to reduce some of the risk of farming with a new rainfall prediction app. Designed by Dr. Armi Susandi, an early creator of natural disaster warning technologies, the app provides a range of real-time data sets, including humidity, rainfall predictions, and wind speed. The information is tailored to each village, with farmers able to see three day’s worth of predictions alongside monthly rainfall predictions for up to five years.
The app also tracks crop pest, drought, and flood data in real-time, helping farmers better manage their day-to-day work and future planning activities. It is currently available on Android operating systems. The team of collaborators continues to train farmers in the use of the data, while looking further afield for potential future opportunities to expand the number of locations for which information is available.
The vagaries of weather are affecting communities of all types, with urban designers increasingly including more flexibility into their plans and materials to help mitigate the potential for damaging events. Springwise has spotted innovations such as a concrete bench planter that reduces rainwater run-off and the use of bacteria living in concrete to forewarn of potential structural damage as two methods for making public spaces safer and more hospitable.
Written by: Keely Khoury