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Bangladesh harnassing mobile phones for early warning systems

Thanks to increased mobile phone access in poor and rural communities the prospect of creating highly efficient disaster warning and tracking systems is increasingly popular. In Bangladesh local governments are already signing contracts with mobile providers to send instant message disaster warnings.

“There are already several pilot projects that are underway to provide health, education and disaster management information through mobile phones to users. Amongst these is the local government in Cox’s Bazar [a fishing and beach town] and Sirajganj (primarily cyclone and flood prone districts) that has signed an agreement with GP [Grameen Phone] and Tele-Talk to send instant messages in case of any impending disasters to their users.”

Implications:
With climate change and what seems like an unusual onslaught of natural disasters around the world, designing well working and accessible warning systems will be seen as essential for any community.

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Sources:

Strategic Foresight Group, May 2011, pgs 5-7:
http://newsletters.clearsignals.org/SFG_May2011.pdf#page=5

“GP, TeleTalk to relay early disaster message.” The Daily Star. 05 June 2009.
<http://www.thedailystar.net/newDesign/news-details.php?nid=91332>