Emergency Communications for Disaster Relief Deployment 2007 Archive
Algeria (December 2007) Two bombs ripped through the Algerian capital of Algiers, killing over 50 people, damaging government and UN offices, and destroying local communications networks. Within 48 hours of the explosions, WFP's emergency telecommunications managers deployed to the region to support relief efforts on the ground.
Using satellite-based communications systems, WFP's emergency managers were able to establish the communications infrastructure necessary for aid workers to coordinate recovery efforts and move in vital supplies. The technical equipment and ICT expertise that the team brought with them helped restore stability and security in the days that followed.
Click here to listen to a podcast from WFP's Mark Phillips describing his arrival on the scene.
Bangladesh (November 10-December 11, 2007): Deadly Cyclone Sidr devastated the Southern coast of Bangladesh in November 2008, killing nearly 4,000 people and affecting over 8 million more. In response to the disaster, teams of telecommunications specialists from Télécoms Sans Frontières (TSF) and the UN World Food Programme (WFP) immediately deployed to the region to support relief and recovery efforts.
Both teams of ICT experts quickly established secure and reliable communications systems to support UN and humanitarian aid agencies working on the ground. Satellite-based internet, phone, and fax lines helped facilitate communication and ensure the coordinated delivery of vital supplies and care to those affected by the storm.
Click here to listen to a podcast from one of WFP's telecommunications officers reporting from Bangladesh.
Mexico (November 7-November 17, 2007): Télécoms Sans Frontières (TSF) deployed a crew of emergency telecommunication specialists to southeastern Mexico after days of heavy rains triggered flash floods in the region, forcing over one million people from their homes.
The rising water damaged vital communications and electrical networks, making coordinated evacuation efforts increasingly difficult. Within 48 hours, TSF had established emergency communications centers, offering broadband internet connections and phone and fax lines to support UN agencies and other humanitarian aid groups leading relief and recovery efforts in the aftermath of the disaster.
Click here to listen to a podcast detailing the effects of the disaster and TSF's work during the recovery effort.
Dominican Republic (November 1-November 16, 2007): Severe flooding and dangerous mudslides in the Dominican Republic forced over 25,000 people from their homes. Heavy rains from Tropical Storm Noel badly damaged the region's landscape and infrastructure and left thousands urgently in need of humanitarian assistance.
At the request of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Assistance (OCHA), Télécoms Sans Frontières (TSF) immediately deployed to establish emergency telecommunication systems to assist relief agencies working on the ground.
In less than 48 hours, TSF had installed computers, routers, printers, broadband internet and fax and telephone lines to support recovery efforts on the island and ensure coordinated efforts to get vital supplies to those in greatest need.
Ghana (September 14-September 27, 2007): In September 2007, over 275,000 Ghanaians were displaced from their homes after the heaviest rainy season in more than ten years caused severe flooding throughout the country. The imminent risk of cholera and malaria loomed as thousands crowded into temporary shelters without electricity or clean water.
In response to the emergency situation, Télécoms Sans Frontières (TSF) deployed a team of telecommunications specialists to the region to install computers, routers, printers, broadband internet and fax and telephone lines, in effort to provide relief agencies with secure and immediate access to reliable telecommunications technologies throughout the crisis.
In less than 48 hours, TSF had established mobile satellite communications systems, allowing aid workers to quickly send and receive real-time information on the situation and needs of the displaced population.
Nicaragua (September 6-October 5, 2007): Category 5 Cyclone Felix devastated Northern Nicaragua, killing hundreds and displacing thousands more. Télécoms Sans Frontières (TSF) immediately deployed a team of telecommunications specialists to install emergency communications systems in the region where internal infrastructure had been badly damaged by the storm.
TSF's satellite-based internet and phone connections enabled aid workers to quickly communicate and coordinate relief efforts throughout the devastated region. In addition to providing essential technology and telecommunications tools to humanitarian agencies on the ground, TSF also launched a humanitarian calling operation that provided over 1,000 survivors with a phone call to loved ones.
Click here to listen to a podcast describing TSF's efforts on the ground.
Sudan (August 22-September 3, 2007): In August 2007, Télécoms Sans Frontières (TSF) deployed a team of telecommunications specialists to the violence-stricken region of Darfur to undertake an assessment mission for the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). The team was tasked with evaluating the telecommunications infrastructure in areas throughout Western Sudan and along the Chadian border.
TSF made recommendations to OCHA about telecommunications capacity based on connectivity, electrical and installation assessments. By observing and measuring communications capabilities throughout the region, TSF was able to pinpoint the regions where coordinated communications could support humanitarian aid efforts to the more than 2 million people who had been displaced by the conflict.
Peru (August 16 -September 20, 2007): On August 15, 2007, a massive earthquake measuring 8.0 on the Richter scale shook the entire Peruvian coastline and densely populated capital city. The quake killed more than 500, injured thousands, destroyed over 40,000 homes, and dealt a severe blow to the country's internal communications infrastructure.
Télécoms Sans Frontières (TSF) immediately responded to the crisis, deploying a team of telecommunications specialists to establish three communication centers throughout the area's hardest hit by the quake. These emergency telecommunications hubs offered broadband internet connections and phone and fax lines to relief workers like those from the UN Disaster and Assessment Coordination (UNDAC) teams attempting to coordinate the difficult situation on the ground.
In addition to providing essentials telecommunication tools and equipment for aid agencies, TSF also launched a humanitarian calling operation that provided over 3,000 survivors with a phone call to loved ones.
Click here to listen to a podcast describing TSF's mission in Peru.
Uruguay (May 12th- May 31, 2007): At the request of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), Télécoms Sans Frontières (TSF) immediately responded after nearly 120,000 people were displaced by severe flooding in Uruguay. TSF's telecommunications specialists deployed to the region to establish emergency communications centers, providing relief workers with essential tools for communicating and coordinating recovery efforts.
TSF's telecommunications equipment and satellite-based communications networks allowed aid agencies to quickly and efficiently evacuate vulnerable populations--including children, women, and the elderly--from the areas most dangerously affected by the floods.
During the nineteen days of mission, TSF assisted, among other NGO's and relief agencies, the United Nations Disaster Assessment and Coordination (UNDAC) and the International Federation of the Red Cross (IFRC).
Click here to listen to a podcast detailing the aftermath of the crisis and TSF's role in recovery efforts.
Solomon Islands (April 3- April 19, 2007): In 2007, the combined effect of a dual earthquake-tsunami resulted in significant damage and loss of life in the Solomen Islands. The initial force of a powerful quake not only shook the island, but its reverberant force caused a localized tsunami, leaving thousand desperately affected by the successive storms.
Télécoms Sans Frontières (TSF) immediately deployed to establish two emergency communication centers on the Island, providing much-needed telecommunications networks where the existing infrastructure had been badly damaged or destroyed.
Rescue workers on the ground benefited from satellite-based internet, phone, and fax lines, allowing them to communicate quickly and effectively, even at the height of the crisis. In addition to providing vital support for a number of aid agencies, including World Vision, Oxfam, and Save the Children, TSF also established a humanitarian calling operation for families displaced by the storms.
Mozambique (February 15- March 15, 2007): In February 2007, heavy rains triggered flash floods along the Zambezi River in Mozambique, driving over 300,000 people from their land and homes. Just weeks later, Hurricane Favio slammed into the country's coast, leaving an additional 150,000 people without shelter.
TSF immediately responded to the emergency by deploying IT specialists to the region to establish communications centers in the cities of Caia, Mutarara and Mopeia. From these sites, TSF used satellite technology to track the Hurricane's progress and provide vital telecommunications tools to aid groups working on the ground.
Click here to listen to a podcast detailing TSF's mission in Mozambique.