Role of ICTs in Early Warning of Climate­Related Disasters: A Sri Lankan Case Study

Author and Institution: 
Kanchana Wickramasinghe, Institute of Policy Studies of Sri Lanka

Climate change is now increasing – and will further increase in future – both the frequency and intensity of natural disasters in Sri Lanka including cyclones, floods and landslides (MoE 2010).  While a number of strategies are necessary to address growth in climate­related natural disasters, an effective early warning system can play a crucial role in lessening the probable negative impacts. More generally, the need for such a system was highlighted following the huge devastation caused by the 2004 tsunami.  After four years of research, development and piloting activities, the Disaster Early Warning Network (DEWN) was launched in Sri Lanka on 30th January 2009.  It aims to provide timely, reliable and cost­effective mass­scale disaster early warnings.  DEWN represents a multipartite effort and a case for public­ private partnerships in delivering ICT­-based early warnings.