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A framework for predicting droughts in developing countries using sensor networks and mobile phones

A framework for predicting droughts in developing countries using sensor networks and mobile phones,10.1145/1899503.1899551,Muthoni Masinde,Antoine B.

A framework for predicting droughts in developing countries using sensor networks and mobile phones  
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Drought is the most complex and least understood of all natural disasters and it affects more people than any other hazard. Droughts have become synonymous with the developing countries and in particular the Sub-Saharan Africa where the hazard is chronic. Effects of droughts can be mitigated if accurate and timely drought predications were to be done. Unfortunately, despite the enormous advancements in science, predictions only provide indications of trends. A major weakness of the existing tools is the emphasis on macro/international level information. The tools also tend to ignore the at risk community who happen to be host to very crucial traditional knowledge on droughts. In this paper, we propose an integrated drought predication framework that considers both scientific and traditional knowledge and combines the use of mobile phones with wireless sensor networks to be able to capture and relay micro drought parameters. The framework is an enhancement of ITU's Ubiquitous Sensor Network (USN) Layers. In order to accommodate the diverse roles mobile phones play in our framework, Layer 2 (USN Access Networking) is implemented using three sub-layers composed of heterogeneous gateways.
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