At the meeting it was acknowledged that this was a significant effort that would require years of planning and implementation. It was also acknowledged that overcoming communications challenges in much of southern Africa was a major issue. Social Media was discussed as one way to “jumpstart” the communication process.
A group of Meteorologists at the Department of Climate Change and Meteorological Services (DCCMS) in Malawi have developed a unique approach to the communication challenge. Through the use of WhatsApp, a social media communication tool, they have developed a weather spotter network, and communicate forecasts, warnings, observations and storm reports to remote villages, Disaster Risk Managers, media, and local, regional, and national government officials.