Indigenous Knowledge Systems Should Be Harnessed

Published on 6th March 2018

The visit by Kenyan meteorologists to watch Maasais slaughter a goat and ‘read’ its intestines to predict the weather is a sign of modern scientists working with traditionalists to forge a united front in dealing with issues. Indigenous knowledge systems (IKS) have developed within various societies’ independent of, and prior to, the advent of the modern scientific knowledge system to address various issues important to human survival and the quality of life. African Indigenous Knowledge is described in condescending terms like "static," "low-value-added" and "primitive" in modern parlance of learning hence suffocating its growth.

In 2017, most parts of Kenya fell prey to the fall army worm invasion. The worms withstood modern pesticides dashing the hopes of many farmers. Some farmers however used a mixture of ash and cow dung to successfully ward them off.

The mere fact that Indigenous knowledge systems have survived annihilation, recorded accuracy and are cost effective merit their study and incorporation into the existing knowledge systems.The move taken by Kenyan meteorologists is a step in the right direction.

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