Google seeks to revolutionize how pastoralists find pasture, water with AfriScout

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AfriScout app revolutionises how pastoralists find pasture, water.

Google, through its human-focused and philanthropic arm, Google.org; has supported Project Concern International (PCI) to launch AfriScout. AfriScout is a mobile app; that improves the ability of pastoralists to pinpoint adequate grazing land, and therefore cut livestock mortality.

AfriScout’s design helps pastoralists By infusing satellite imagery with community-defined custom grazing maps. The app helps pastoralists make accurate and cost-effective migration decisions, improve pasture management and – most notably, safeguard against livestock loss.

Google East Africa, Policy and Government Relations Manager, Michael Murungi, said:

“AfriScout demonstrates the power of making information accessible directly to those who can make the best use of it. We are thrilled to be part of this innovation that provides sustainable solutions to reduce poverty in East Africa,”

Google.org supported development and testing of AfriScout with $1,750,000; and Google volunteers who helped design and gather early user feedback on the app.

At a time when climate change is making traditional methods of finding pasture increasingly unreliable, AfriScout fills a critical information gap for pastoralists by allowing them to monitor grazing conditions on a continuous basis. The mobile app provides real-time information to pastoralists who rely on accurate reports of grazing conditions to successfully raise livestock in support of their communities.

Piloted in Ethiopia and Tanzania in 2016, AfriScout has already yielded results – most notably, a 48% reduction in livestock mortality where there was no significant difference in rainfall or vegetation availability.

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