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Haiti - Telecommunications : Interconnection by satellite in case of crisis
28/10/2011 14:17:29

Haiti - Telecommunications : Interconnection by satellite in case of crisis
Eight months after the 12th January earthquake, in September 2010, a "Telecoms Without Borders" TSF team conducted an evaluation mission in Port-au-Prince and Cap Haitian. This mission highlighted that there was a crucial need to reinforce the national response system in emergency telecommunications.

In November 2010, in consultation with the NASH (1), three emergency telecommunications kits, composed of satellite equipment and computer, have been strategically pre-positioned on the island. (Port-au-Prince, les Cayes, Cap Haïtien). Members of the NASH, from the three regions, were identified and have since acquired the indispensable expertise necessary for emergency deployments and the use of the telecoms equipment. Theoretical courses, hands-on sessions and a simulation exercise enabled them to acquire the skills and the know-how to apply them autonomously in the field.

Responsible for these satellite telecommunications kits, the scouts are capable of installing, anytime and anywhere on the island, rapid and reliable Internet and telephone connections, which they place at the disposal of national and international response organizations, including the Haitian Civil Protection Agency.

In August and October 2011, TSF was back to Haiti for a visit to the Scouts to reinforce their competencies and check with them the equipments. Following the success of this collaboration, TSF provided the 12 Scout Department Commissioners and the General Commissioner with a satellite phone. The Department Commissioner will have the responsibility to pass on the first emergency information to the relief workers, in the event of an emergency. Thus, all the regions of the island could benefit from appropriate means of communication, allowing them to remain connected and provide the national emergency system with alerts during future major natural events.

In October 2011, TSF has implemented a system within the central server of the NASH to send mass SMSs in order to improve the coordination between the different groups of scouts. In particular, SMS cell broadcasting is a quick mean for the national office to collect data from various delegates all over the territory (alert levels, number of scouts in the field, scouts availability, undertaken actions, needs, etc).

(1) Learn more about the NASH
The National Association of the Scouts of Haiti (NASH) conducts youth and educational programs. It counts more than 45,000 members in all the regions of the country and has wide popular support. During the last major natural events that occurred in Haiti, NASH demonstrated its capacity to react and intervene rapidly and efficiently, notably after the earthquake of January 12th 2010.

TB/ HaitiLibre

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