Paper titled “Community-based Hazard Warnings in Rural Sri Lanka: Performance of a Last-Mile Message Relay”, authors – Gordon Gow (Associate Professor, Faculty of Extensions, University of Alberta, Canada), Peter Anderson (Associate Professor, Department of Telematics, Simon Fraser University, Canada), and Nuwan Waidyanatha (Project Manager, Last-Mile Hazard Warning Systems, LIRNEasia, Sri Lanka), will be presented at the 1st Wireless Rural Emergency Communication Conference. The WRECOM 2007 Conference is jointly organized by the University of Rome “Tor Vergata”, the IEEE Communications Society and the Vehicular Technology/Communications Society joint Chapter Italy Section. The conference will take place in Rome, October 1-2, 2007.
The HazInfo project realized that early warnings via Information Communication Technology (ICT) must be a point-to-multi-point application and is best accommodate by Wireless ICTs. The HazInfo pilot included outfitting and field-testing an initial 32 villages with various combinations of wireless communication equipment, which could provide features such as: early warning wake-up, addressability and provision of information in three languages (English, Sinhalese and Tamil).
In December 2005, LIRNEasia, an ICT policy and reform research organization, initiated a research project to evaluate the “last-of-the-mile” communication component of an all-hazards warning system for Sri Lanka. The project entitled, “Evaluating Last-Mile Hazard Information Dissemination”, or the “HazInfo Project”, was funded by the International Development Research Center (IDRC) of Canada. Its research design was based on recommendations of a “participatory concept paper” for a national early warning system (NEWS:SL) completed in the months following the 2004 tsunami.