ICT vital tool to reduce casualties in emergencies -UNICEF


The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) says Information Communications Technology (ICT) is a vital tool in disseminating information to reduce casualties in emergency situations in schools.

Dr Judith Giwa-Amu, an Education Officer in the organisation said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Friday.

According to her, ICT is an important tool to disseminate information to a number of persons simultaneously and this helps to reduce the number of casualties in emergency situations, especially in schools.

“The bases of any emergency preparedness and response in schools are informed by the level of preparation and planning that is adapted.

“The idea of planning is that you want to avoid disaster occurrence, we don’t even want to say if it occurs but want to do things that we can do to avoid it.

“When we are able to plan effectively to avoid it, we must communicate with those who are key stakeholders in terms of the school community, children, teachers and security.

“Now you know that children are in the jet age, ICT is the in thing and every child has phone. This is called the `why’ generation.

“The best way to reach these children is through the use of ICT related systems.

“In UNICEF, we have what we call U-report, it is a device that can be installed in phones or lap tops, through this medium you can communicate emergency tools to a larger population in the country,’’ she said.

Giwa-Amu said that these tools help the organisation to create awareness across schools that had the ability to inform the children and even adults on what to do during emergency situations.

This, she said would reduce harm that would occur during such situations.

“Lack of information communication is what has worsened emergencies because most people don’t know what to do when it happens.

“But with this tool having in mind that most children are ICT compliant, it makes it easier to reach them and educate them.

“Teachers and other stakeholders like the security formation should also be informed since they all have mobile phones,’’ she said.

Source: (NAN)