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Tuesday, April 2, 2019

ITU highlights use of disruptive technologies in disaster management - NaijaAgroNet

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has published a new report about the use and opportunities of ICT and disruptive technologies for disaster risk reduction and management, reports NaijaAgroNet.

The report, NaijaAgroNet gathered was proclaimed during the third ITU Global Forum on Emergency Telecommunications, which took place from 6 to 8 March 2019 in Balaclava, Mauritius.

The study finds that technological advancement and innovation are creating new opportunities for enhancing disaster resilience and risk reduction. Developments in disruptive technologies, such as artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things (IoT) and Big Data, and innovations in robotics and drone technology, among other areas, are transforming disaster risk reduction and management. Disruptive technologies can spread critical information more quickly, improve understanding of the causes of disasters, enhance early warning systems, assess damage in new ways and add to the knowledge base of the social behaviours and economic impacts after a crisis strikes.

The term of disruptive technology was first introduced more than two decades ago with reference to new technologies having an impact on incumbent businesses with scope for major disruption. Today, the term has widened by including the innovative application of new technologies across a range of domains, including disaster risk reduction and management.

The rapid growth of supporting digital infrastructure and devices, such as wireless broadband networks, smartphones and cloud computing, has created the foundation for the application of disruptive technologies for disaster management.

The spread and availability of these technologies vary among developed and developing nations and among high and low-income regions, and this digital divide influences their suitability for different disaster management scenarios.

Applications of disruptive technologies to disaster management vary in pace, scope and impact. While the use of drones and IoT is increasing, older technologies, such as satellite imagery and seismometers, are still the most important methods for detecting, monitoring and accessing disasters, and text messaging has the widest reach for communicating with the public.

Regarding space technology, the document highlights that satellite-based emergency mapping (SEM) has improved both in quality and response. For instance, new synthetic radar apertures can see through storm clouds, and coordination between the satellite and relief communities has improved.

Remmy Nweke/DoP

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