April 09, 2007 (LBO) – Two Sri Lankan software and mobile phone technology developments meant to give warning and help relief efforts during disasters recently won international recognition. They are Sahana, an open source software programme developed by volunteers after the Asian tsunami to help find missing people and improve aid agency relief efforts, and a new disaster warning device developed by Dialog Telekom, University of Moratuwa and Microimage Limited.
Sahana, which has won Software 2006, USA – Good Samaritian Award, went on to receive the 2006 Free Software Foundation Award for Projects of Social Benefit. Previous winners of the free software award have included Wikipedia, the web-based encyclopedia.
“We were inspired to create this award when we heard of the tremendous good the Sahana project was able to achieve through the use of free software,” said Richard Stallman, President and Founder of the Free Software Foundation.
The software resolves common coordination problems that arise during a disaster and helps the search for missing people, aid and volunteer management, and victim tracking across refugee camps.
The Sahana software designing group is planning