NGO ActionAid and Microsoft yesterday launched a pilot project using mobilephones and Microsoft Data Gathering (MDG) tools for use in disaster response in the Mekong Delta province of Soc Trang.
The densely populated province is located in a low-lying area especially vulnerable to a range of hazards including floods, drought, cyclones and sea water intrusion.
As part of the project, local communities are being encouraged to co-operate with the government to prepare for and respond to disasters.
ActionAid will train local communities in how to use mobilephones and MDG tools to collect, map and analyze weather and climate-related risks and vulnerabilities.
The data collected from local communities will become part of disaster-preparedness planning and response plans at the local and national level.
A computer-based Disaster Risk Reduction Information Centre with MDG integration will be established in districts, and an Early Warning System will be set up.
The project is being piloted in three communes in the province’s Long Phu District.
The test run in the last three months in the communes showed that end-users and residents could master the technology, according to a press release from ActionAid.