On January 12, 2010, a magnitude 7.0 earthquake struck Haiti 15 miles from its capital, Port-au-Prince. On January 14th, the Sahana team, based largely in Sri Lanka, launched its Haiti 2010 Disaster Relief Portal, including a Situation Map, an Organizations Registry, and an Activities Report.
The Sahana project was initiated by volunteers in the Sri Lankan FOSS development community to help their fellow countrymen and countrywomen affected during the 2004 Asian Tsunami in December 2004. The system was officially used by the Government of Sri Lanka and the system was released as Free and Open Source software. Subsequently a re-write (phase II) as a generic disaster management tools was incubated with the sponsorship of SIDA, IBM and NSF (US) and it has be used by the Governments and NGOs in Philippines, Pakistan, Indonesia and Sri Lanka.
As devastated as we all are by the disaster in Haiti, we are also moved by the stories of courage and hope that emerge from the rubble. Born of disaster, Sahana’s is a story of courage and hope and releif. As an open source software project, it has become stronger and more able to help others through each new disaster. Knowing some of the team that manages Sahana, I know that they are absolutely dedicated to bringing the full power and benefit of open source technology to all who confront these terrible situations: the relief workers, the victims of these disasters, and friends and families who are desperate to recover and rebuild their lives and their communities.
Thank you, and godspeed.