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3D-Printed Weather Stations Will Bring Zambia the Latest Forecast

The apparatus costs just $300, with replaceable parts that can easily be printed.
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Reuters/Darrin Zammit Lupi

For a farmer in rural Zambia, knowing when it will rain and when the region is expected to get hit with an extended drought is crucial. The weather forecast helps decide, for example, how many crops to grow and what kind—maize, a Zambian staple that requires plenty of water, or beans, a more resilient crop that can withstand erratic weather.

Yet reliable weather forecasts are hard to come by in developing countries, in part because weather stations are few and far between. “Weather services in the developing part of the world are usually at the the bottom of the totem pole in government [in terms of] getting resources or any attention,” says Sezin Tokar, a hydrometeorologist at the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).