Have you heard about the Batingaw app?
I was clueless about this app until Smart has sent me a press release with information about this app and its use as a tool for building resilience in some parts of Africa.
Batingaw s the disaster management mobile application launched in 2014 by the Office of Civil Defense-National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (OCD-NDRRMC) and Smart Communications. And as I have first mentioned, it has been tapped as a tool in the Horn of Africa for its purpose of delivering information including advisories on potential disaster and warnings.
During a recent trip to the Philippines, representatives of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) identified Batingaw as an innovative tool that can help strengthen early warning systems in the African region. Through south-south cooperation facilitated by UNDP Regional Center for Africa and the Philippine Embassy in Nairobi (Kenya), Batingaw’s developer, Vincent Loremia, has been invited to travel to Nairobi, Kenya, to work with the IGAD team in developing a similar app for the Horn of Africa.
A Tagalog word for “bell”, “Batingaw” is a mobile application that provides government agencies, organizations, and individuals, immediate access to disaster warnings, advisories, location data, and disaster mappings. It features step-by-step instructions that can guide users to safety during disasters. The app also enables users to contribute information to emergency agencies more easily and quickly.
Batingaw was designed to run on smartphones and other mobile devices. It can be downloaded for free from Google Play for Android devices and from iTunes for devices running on iOS.
In his letter to Loremia, Dr. Guleid Artan, Director of IGAD Climate Prediction & Applications Centre (ICPAC) said Batingaw, “could be the basis for the development of a similar innovative application for the Horn of Africa…we are confident that such an innovative tool would have practical use and will support our effort in building resilience in the region.”
“The Batingaw app was designed to empower ordinary people to do their part in sharing accurate, on-ground information during disasters using the most ubiquitous tools of today—the mobile phone. Through this app, we hope to connect community stakeholders—government, response teams and ordinary citizens—to a wealth of information that could promote safety and help save lives,” said Vince Loremia, co-founder of Tudlo Innovations Solutions, the team behind Batingaw, and one of Smart’s partner start-ups.
“With the increasing intensity and frequency of disasters, tools that strengthen public awareness and facilitate a system for preparedness and response, have become more useful. We are honored to be part of this initiative that will pave the way for Philippine innovation and best practices to be recognized internationally,” said Ramon R. Isberto, Smart Public Affairs Head.
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