Carnegie Mellon University

Bobuchi Ken-Opurum, Founder, Re-HOUSED Climate Decision Support Toolkit

Better Informing Global Communities to Combat Climate Change

Oftentimes, the populations most affected by climate change are the groups with the least access to solutions that could improve their lives.

That’s an imbalance that Bobuchi Ken-Opurum (CFA 2022) seeks to correct.

She created the Re-HOUSED Climate Decision Support Toolkit to gather resources that help people living in tropical locations in the Southern Hemisphere. Her information helps them build or improve their housing to better contend with flooding and heat stress.

“Solutions are available, but they’re mostly in scientific journals or conference papers,” Bobuchi says. “Unless you have the capacity to go find them, read them and understand them, you don't really know the solutions. I broke those down and made them very simple.”

In the toolkit, she presents information visually. She’s created a web app to help individuals make decisions based on their unique needs. There’s also a guidebook of strategies with details on how to build them, since the majority of her intended global audience lives in structures that they construct themselves.

Growing up in Nigeria, Bobuchi’s community used cisterns to catch rainwater for various uses, while simple patches to potholes improved bad roads. These little things requiring relatively basic knowledge and tools made a big difference in everyone’s daily lives.

“I've always been interested in ingenuity and bottom-up, grassroots measures that people can do themselves,” she says. “It really matters to find out what people can do across different cultures to cope with climate change.” 

Story by Elizabeth Speed