A man standing on a street corner typing into a cellphone while looking at a sheet of paper.

Saving Lives through Cell Phones in Mozambique .


focal points trained in the new early warning system

Rolling out the system in May 2014, CCAP trained more than 150 focal points in Pemba and Quelimane. Participants included municipal officials, INGC’s local disaster committees, community and religious leaders, teachers, and school administrators. Nearly one-third of the participants were between 16 and 29 years of age — just one example of how CCAP is leveraging young people’s technical skills and enthusiasm to boost resilience to natural disasters.

CCAP has also begun procuring emergency kits for INGC’s local disaster committees, as well as first-aid kits for community leaders. To prepare community focal points for the rainy season, CCAP is sending them text messages with reminders of their reporting and data-collection duties. That way, if a natural disaster should occur, these focal points will be ready to act.

“Real-time information is critical for the INGC,” said Elizete. “In the past, we received information on post-disaster needs too late for us to take effective action. CCAP’s system will ensure that we receive real-time data straight from the source.”

"No matter how technologically innovative, the system won’t work without committed people behind it.”

Carlos E. Quintela, CCAP Chief of Party

“Last March, we experienced some of the heaviest rains we’ve seen in 40 years. It destroyed people’s homes. It made life very difficult. People are eager to act on early-warning information because they know the consequences if they don’t.

Elizete Manuel, INGC Delegate in Pemba

After deploying the early-warning system in Pemba and Quelimane, CCAP will work with the INGC to ensure it is integrated into their overall disaster response system — first at the provincial level, and then at the national level. CCAP will also work with local NGOs to ensure that all community members’ voices and interests are represented in the disaster response process.

Such an inclusive approach is critical for an early-warning system that depends on local leadership to function. “No matter how technologically innovative, the system won’t work without committed people behind it,” said Carlos E. Quintela, CCAP’s chief of party.

“Community leaders, local disaster committees, schoolteachers — these people all form a network of communication for disaster management. The goal of CCAP’s early-warning system is to bring this network together and empower it to reduce communities’ vulnerability to natural disasters and save lives.”