Civil Society Organisations, district leaders and government officials have been trained in using artificial intelligence to help manage disasters.
The training was organized under a project on Strengthening Disaster Prevention Approaches in Eastern Africa (STEDPEA) and implemented by UNESCO Regional Office for Eastern Africa and Uganda National Commission for UNESCO (UNATCOM) with funding from the Japanese government.
It was also aimed at supporting the development and integration of science-evidenced measures such as artificial intelligent innovations, citizen science and gender-responsive actions into strategies and action plans for disaster risk reduction in schools, communities and public sector institutions in Eastern Africa.
Speaking at the opening of the training, Rosie Agoi, the UNATCOM secretary general said the high frequency of hazardous events and the often-poor official response has created a deficit of trust between citizens and national authorities.
“In this training, you will be introduced to a technology that is aimed at supporting the development and integration of science-evidenced measures of artificial intelligent innovation into strategies and action plans for disaster risk reduction in schools, communities and public sector institutions in Uganda,”Agoi said.
“A chat bot smartphone application was developed by UNESCO and is expected to help citizens interact with local authorities to better prepare, respond and recover from disasters. It enables users to receive early warning on future disasters and allow.”
She explained that the data received by the application is then processed by artificial intelligence to generate a map so that relief agencies and government can utilize it for identifying the worst hit locations that need urgent rescue.
According to the UNATCOM secretary general, the training helped equip CSOs, government officials and district leaders with knowledge on how to use the application to deal with disaster.
“Among several outcomes, this training being given to you is expected to enable the state and non-state institutions use and apply artificial intelligence in disaster response.”
The training was attended by representatives from district disaster management committees, Civil Society Organisations, universities, government ministries, departments and agencies whose mandate is in line with disaster prevention and management.
The trainings were conducted at Lake View Hotel Mbarara for the Western region, Wash and Wills Hotel, Mbale for the Eastern Region, Church Hill Courts Hotel, Gulu for the Northern Region and Silver Springs Hotel, Bugolobi for the Central region respectively.