Maldives, a country of 1,192 islands and 290,000 citizens, is highly dependent on its natural resources. Along with tourism, which provides more than 30 percent of the country’s income, fisheries and agriculture are essential to livelihoods on the country’s 199 inhabited islands.
The December 2004 tsunami affected many of its islands and wrought considerable devastation to its infrastructure, particularly telecom. Not only did it destroy shelters, but it affected five major nodes, disrupted service to 13 atolls (163 islands), destroyed power systems and batteries, and damaged radio equipment.
Can early warning help save lives? The need for early warning has become greater since the tsunami and the growing threat of the atoll nation receding under a rapidly increasing sea level. These claims are further reinforced by a study conducted by RMSI for UNDP Maldives that “It is estimated that Male will be inundated by 15 per cent by 2025 and 50 per cent by 2100 due to climate change and consequent sea level rise”
“Mobile Cell Broadcasting for Commercial Use and Public Warning in the Maldives”, a report done by LIRNEasia researcher Natasha Udu-gama on the based on her research will be released today to Maldivian policy makers. The report focuses not only on Public Warning but how to make Cell Broadcasting commercially viable. A first at international level this report will be work as a guide for any developing country.