Author and Institution:
Kanchana Wickramasinghe, Institute of Policy Studies of Sri Lanka
Climate change is increasing – and will continue to increase – both the frequency and intensity of natural disasters in Sri Lanka, including cyclones, floods and landslides (MoE 2010). While a number of strategies are required to address this, an effective early warning system can play a crucial role in lessening the probable negative impacts of climate-related disaster events. The need for such a system was particularly 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 cost-effective mass-scale disaster early warnings. DEWN represents a multipartite effort, and a case for public-private partnerships in delivering ICT-based early warnings.