Uganda plans early warning ICT system

Telecoms regulator, the Uganda Communications Commission in collaboration with the International Telecommunications Union are jointly developing an early warning system that will provide public alerts to people in case of Disaster prediction, detection and mitigation.
According to the UCC executive director Mr. Godfrey Mutabazi, in light of the recent natural and man-made disasters in Uganda, great attention and effort has been directed towards the application of ICTs, hence the need to develop an early warning system. Mutabazi said this last week while handing over 10 satellite phones to the ministry of Disaster Preparedness and Refugees to ease communication as evacuation efforts are still going on in Uganda's Bulambuli district that was affected by mudslide early in the month.
UCC contacted the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) for the emergency communications equipment to assist in the management of relief services.
"The ITU through its division of emergency telecommunications has offered Uganda four inmarsat broadband global area network terminals, four iridium satellite telephones and two thuraya satellite telephones with their accessories," said Mutabazi.
Uganda's eastern districts do experience massive landslides and floods. The latest were in Bulambuli district where 40 people died and many others were left homeless.
Mutabazi indicated  the equipment have capacity to use both satellite and GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) networks, provide accurate Global Positioning System to aid relief.
"In some cases, can be used for high speed data in coordinating relief services in the affected districts," he added.
Disaster Preparedness minister Stephen Mallinga said the equipment will provide a huge boost in the evacuation services.