The new Afriscout App provides pastoralists with satellite-powered maps that show the density of vegetation and availability of water in their grazing fields. PHOTOS | NATIONThe new Afriscout App provides pastoralists with satellite-powered maps that show the density of vegetation and availability of water in their grazing fields. PHOTOS | NATION
By LEONARD ONYANGO

Pastoralists in arid and semi-arid areas will now be able to use their mobile phones to find pasture and water for their livestock following the launch of a new mobile App.

Afriscout App, which is set to be launched on Thursday, February 1 at Enchula Resort in Kajiado County, provides pastoralists with satellite-powered maps that show the density of vegetation and availability of water in their grazing fields.

The mobile app developed by a USA based non-profit organization, Project Concern International (PCI), uses community defined, custom grazing maps overlaid with satellite vegetation data that is continuously updated and accessed via mobile phone.

“Afriscout mobile App was piloted in three countries; Kenya, Ethiopia, and Tanzania and the maps have proven to be highly useful for pastoralists reducing mortality for herds by half, saving time in search of pasture, as well as improving collective pasture management,” said Brenda Wandera, National Program Manager AfriScout, Kenya.

TRIAL PERIOD

The mobile app-based service will be provided to pastoral households for a six-month no-cost trial period, after which they will have the option to sign up for yearly subscription at a nominal fee.

“The mobile application has registered over 1,600 users with approximately 100 new users each week since Since October 2017 during piloting period,” she said.

The Mobile App will help pastoralists make better decisions on where to take their livestock to graze.

“The value of this innovation is derived not simply from technology, but from working with local pastoralists to fuse indigenous knowledge with technology to create better and more effective migration decisions,” said PCI President Carrie Hessler-Radelet.

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