Cell phones to enhance communication on disasters
The Ministry of Disaster Management and Refugee Affairs, (MIDIMAR) today begins to distribute cell phones to sector social affairs officers geared at enhancing reporting and communication on disasters.
The project is supported by the World Food Programme (WFP) and the UN Agency for Refugees (UNCHR).
Recipients of the handsets, who act as heads of Sector Disaster Management Committees will be required to send data, via text messages or voice calls on a toll free line, to be fed and stored into a server at the ministry headquarters in Kigali.
These cell phones will be given to Sector Social Affairs Officers within each district, a statement from the Ministry sent to The New Times said.
“This is a preliminary activity based on a larger project with the aim to enhance and improve reporting and communication on disasters within Rwanda.”
This will later serve as an early warning system as it will avail information on past disaster occurrences, impacts, high risk zones and predictions on future occurrences, the statement added.
As the project develops the ministry plans to also distribute android smart phones and laptops at district level.