THE RAINMAKERS OF NGANYI
SOUTH AFRICA | 2015 | 8.5 min
Filmmaker: Steve McDonald

Researchers at Kenyan universities faced a problem: their weather forecasts weren’t being taken seriously. Threatened by climate change and weather extremes, farmers were losing crops and finding it increasingly difficult to predict the weather. Even so, they did not trust the scientific forecasts and would only listen to traditional rainmakers.

To bridge the gap, the universities began to use rainmakers in the village of Nganyi, Western Kenya, as communication agents. But then the researchers started to notice striking similarities between their predictions and the rainmakers’. Were they really forecasters? And can the rainmakers really make it rain? This is the story of how new research is bringing together ancient and modern ways of knowing, to build climate resilience in Africa.

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