An Assessment of Indigenous Biotic Weather Forecasting Indicators In Sokoto State; North-Western Nigeria
Rainfall prediction especially in the Sudan-Sahel Zone (SSZ) of West Africa is very important because livelihoods are at the mercy of weather and climate since people depend on rain-fed agriculture for survival. National meteorological and hydrological agencies such as NIMET in Nigeria were initiated to generate and disseminate weather forecasts in order to minimize the hazards associated with the vagaries climatic variables, however, NIMET’s Seasonal Rainfall Predictions (SRPs) hardly reach rural folks due to inadequacy of basic media channels. Consequently, indigenous people are forced to depend on age-long weather prediction traditions that utilize indigenous knowledge and weather indicators to predict local weather;. This study assessed indigenous biotic forecasting indicators used by local people in central Sokoto area of Nigeria. Data were collected through Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA), in-depth interviewing and Focus Group Discussions (FGD). The data were coded into categories and analysed for consistency and patterns. Results reveal that avian, creatural and arboreal (in that order), are the biotic indicators used to forecast local weather. The study recommended a blending of indigenous and conventional weather forecasting system.