Importance of IT in disasters management underlined
ISLAMABAD, April 19 2006: Minister for information technology Awais Ahmad Khan Leghari has underlined the need for coordinated efforts at regional and global level to deal with natural disaster. “In the context of global level impact of disasters, the situation needs collaboration at regional and global level to deal effectively with such situations”, he said while addressing the inaugural symposium on ‘Telecommunication for disaster relief’, jointly organised by the IT ministry and Asia Pacific Tele-community (APT) here , on Tuesday.
The minister called for close interaction among countries to chalk out a joint strategy for structure management of disasters through an integrated of disasters through an integrated use of information and communications technologies. He said recent disaster all round the world especially the tsunami and South Asian earthquake had made the world realise the magnitude of challenges the whole mankind faces to cope with and manage the devastation caused by such natural calamities.
The minister underlined the essential part the information and communication technologies (ICTs) played in virtually all disaster readiness and management. “No other technology is more relevant and necessary for making all other dimensions of disaster management work”, said, adding the planning for integrated telecom and IT strategies and plans for disaster management had already assumed critical importance.
He hoped the symposium would prove instrumental in the development of regional strategies for leveraging the power of ICTs and building emergency response structures to deal with future disasters. He also expected the symposium to deliberate on whether to freeze out key actors in their planning, or include private sector, NGOs, NPOs and other social uplift organisations. “We have to make sure that the strategy evolved for the region must have the vision to help us anticipate and be ready for the next challenges”, he stressed.
Speaking on the occasion, APT Executive Director Amarendra Narayan called for positioning of control warning systems all over the region and bringing in user-friendly and inexpensive technology to put up communication links in the event of any future disaster. He also called for future training of local population in the use of technology to ward off calamitous effects of such disasters. The objective of the symposium is to bring governments, private sector, international organisations and other regional stakeholders and create awareness and evolve common strategies and coordination within the Asia Pacific region.
The symposium being supported by extra-budgetary contribution from Japan and attended by 32 delegates from 15 countries, is also expected to debate and discuss a wide —range of issues, including disaster management networks systems, development of warning systems for the Asia Pacific region. Experts on disaster management are also attending the symposium.
Source: B. Recorder