Introduction to the Sri Lankan context

With the ever-increasing phase of challenges in both developed and developing world, all the human beings are now in the move of identifying the variables to established for the core purpose of facing the uncertainties in the world. The greater the uncertainty is the severer the consequences are. The most probable uncertainties and the risks are in lined with the climate of the earth’s atmosphere. The changes in the climate or in the atmosphere have no longer to be wondered thinking whether the solutions are yet to come. The very exact reason behind the generation of the solutions for the changing climate is the changes in the technology or in another word the ever-increasing development of the technologies by the human beings. One such diplomacies in the development of the technologies is the science of meteorology developed in hundred years back to date. The subject of meteorology has been regarded as one of the oldest observational sciences ever emerged in the world (Exline, Levine and Joel Levine, 2006).

The life of the earth is depending on the power from the sun and not only that the atmospheric conditions as well. In the meantime, as the climate could revolve the livelihoods of the whole planet it is the factor of climate that the scientists and all the other disciplinarians are much in attention with. The science behind the meteorology has the influence for all these aspects and thus the science of meteorology could be defined as the spinal of the livelihoods also. Weather related and geological hazards such as flash floods as well as monsoonal floods, landslides, storms, typhoons, and also drought can always be heard from anywhere in the world. There where the concern comes out whether the usage of so called meteorology has helped to overcome or to mitigate the consequences of the previously mentioned weather and geological hazards.

No matter how far the science has been improved in the sense of researching the facts relevant to the atmosphere and as well as the consequences of the uncertainties aroused from the changes in the climates and the atmosphere there is another unsung key concept lying behind the story. The secret behind the failures in the exhibition of the science wonders towards the human beings and the protection of the mankind was that the failure in delivering the research findings towards the general public. Or else it can be demonstrated in another word of failure in the process of extension services. It is at this context the concept of effective knowledge or else the findings and certain other informatics dissemination techniques comes in to the common ground. The concerning technique is not to be applied only to a specific sector in the world. Information Communication Technology or the ICT has now become the tool which is often used by almost we all are using nowadays including, individuals, governments, organizations and etc. Not only that, the field of usage of the technology of the information communication is intensively broader from the atom to the world ever giants exist and whom have extinct in the world including the gigantic fields of; medicine, engineering, education and not only that the heart of the living beings which is the livelihood of Agriculture and many more fields (Zahedi and Zahedi, 2012). Among many of the concerns regarding these technology of ICT, it was also regarded as a mediation or the combination of the information technology with the telecommunication technology and thus certain academics and the individuals from different number of fields have also tended to use the term Information and Communication Technology instead of the term Information Communication Technology (Aina, 2004). It is further noticed several changes in these two terms in respect of the way of handling the information, and in the method and manner of acquiring, handling, proceeding and finally the method of disseminating the information (Afolabi, 2012).

All in all these two concepts of information and the telecommunication are widely hitched together in the sense of delivering the subsequent needful information. For an instance the computer itself is providing the process of transforming the data in to useful information and then onwards the as a consequence of the technology of the communication, it helps in proving or enhancing the value for the generate data for the mere and the sole purpose of disseminating them among the much and the relevantly needy people as well as for the particular organizational figures who are interested in obtaining that well processed information. There exists in particular four main levels in the process of the telecommunication.

The very first process or the component of IT was that the input devices which means the devices such as the key boards, mouse and the scanners and so on. And the very second component of the IT in the sense of elaboration is that the output devices. With the globalization, there have been emerged number of devices under the category of the output devices such as the monitor screes, projectors, printers and plotters and many more. The third factor in the item of the information communication technology is that the processors. This reflects the speed of the computer which is the ever-increasing dream of even any kid to peruse highest processing speed phones or else the computers. The fourth item of the information communication technology is that the storage devices.  This represents the capacity of the particular device for having the carrying capacity of the highest average. Next most widely discussed term of the ICT industry is that the software those that have changed the security systems of the world and nevertheless the mostly widely developing business industry in the world in terms of the economic returns.  The next term in the ICT is also connected with the item of software which is the network devices.  This is the phase where a child who is sitting on his dining room or study room to be connected with the elsewhere world surrounds him. Modems and the internet wireless connections are the key for the interlinkages for the individual or the organization to be get contacted with the globalized world. One before the final item of the ICT is that the transmission media, where the revolutionary changes could happen. Finally, the other accessories of the Information Communication Technology were consisted with the uninterrupted power supply devices such as the UPS.

Having all these criteria under concern it has now in the phenomena of the investigations by the academics of most of the disciplinarians   towards the identification of the methods to mitigate the climate related risks. In the mean time it was also noted how important it is to use the benefits of ICT towards the mitigation and the risk reduction processors of the climatic related risks. The use of information communication technology is not very uncommon for those countries of developed countries and it is obvious that they are occupying the optimal benefits from the newest technologies as well as they are using them in a very practicable manner. The concept of information communication technology is also not uncommon to the developing countries also, nevertheless what is uncommon is that the optimal usage of those particular technologies for the benefit of the human beings specially in the field of climate related risk reduction programs. It is for this reason that most of the researches on the theme of the role of ICT towards the optimal functioning of the climatic factors have mostly being carried out by the developing countries in comparison to the developed countries.

This particular research study is also attempts in providing iconic overview towards the role and the usage the technology of the information communication towards the benefits of the human beings of the countries and specially towards the mitigation of the risks related with the climatic changes. The research study is based on the same fact of searching the role of ICT in the field of climate yet the field of study is on another frame of; the department of meteorology. Therefore, the study aims at emphasizing the role of ICT in the department of Meteorology in Sri Lanka

Department of Meteorology in Sri Lanka

Being surrounded by the Indian ocean, the pearl of Indian relies on the changes of all the climatic changes occurred in the Indian Ocean and specially and particularly from the impacts of the Bay of Bengal. Sri Lanka is an island, owned to a richest biodiversity where nowhere else on earth that one could figure out or witnessed. There were few milestones in the history of the nature in the country. The event of tsunami, the land slides in Samasara are such of those catastrophes in the history of the Sri Lankan climatic disasters. The department of Meteorology has a unique history if its evolution. The very first observatory of the meteorological parameter were started in the year 1867. It was originally governed by the survey department of Sri Lanka. Later on the governance body was changed to the Colombo observatory in the year 1909. In the year of 1948, the observatory department of Colombo has shifted to be a separate independent government department under the name of department of Meteorology (Department of Meteorology annual reports, 2015). The core theme of the functions of the department of Meteorology is that providing weather and climate services. More over the main governing body of the Department of Meteorology is that the Ministry of Disaster Management.

After the world war II there was a massive concern to upgrade and increase the both physical and human resources of the observatory to provide more information on meteorological data and services to government in a more effective and efficient manner. Also in this decade government had started mass scale development projects in the Sri Lanka in order to that the requirement of a governing body of meteorological information and services was more vital, So Colombo observatory was upgraded and government established the Department of Meteorology 1948 and Dr. D.E. Dissnayake was the first director of the department and was served until year 1958.

 

Currently there are 03 major functions for the Department;

1)         Provision of services for meteorology, climatology and astronomy (limited)

2)         Management of early warnings with regard to meteorological and climatological hazards (tsunami, hurricanes, tornados, etc….)

3)         Technical observation on climate change

(Department of Meteorology Sri Lanka annual report, 2015)

Services provided by the department of Meteorology

The key and the first most service offered by the department of Meteorology is that the supplying of the needful information on the meteorological as well as the climatological data towards the general public. Not only that the data needful sectors such as the working areas of Agriculture, fisheries sector, shipping sector and etc. The next most critical service rendered by the department of Meteorology is that the making necessary arrangements to give the warnings and the advisories for the needful people regarding the bad weather conditions such as typhoons, cyclones and tsunami and etc. The service form the department of meteorology is very much essential for the areas of people in aviation meteorological services, thus the department of meteorology is also supplying the necessary information for the needful people in the sector of the aviation sector also. The data obtained from the department of meteorology is not only necessary for the people who are working in the above mention sectors, not only that the data is very much essential for the students and certain other academics also towards their new findings. Thus one another very essential service by the department of Meteorology is that the maintenance of a proper data base for the provision of supplying real time and the necessary data for those who need them. These data is then very much essential for the national development purposes and for the national and international research programs. Not only that having such a valuable data base is important in all the stakeholders in the area of meteorology to carry out the researches on the thematic areas of, climatology, meteorology and as well the hot topic of the day to day world the Climate change also.

Not only providing the necessary data for the relevant parties, one another usefulness form the department of meteorology is that the public awareness of the thematic areas of the meteorology, climatology and as well as the theme of the climate change. These sorts of initiatives are taken in national level as well as through international level specially targeting the school children of the country. As a component of awareness building about the previously mentioned thematic areas by the department of Meteorology, one another way of supporting the general public is that the organization of the training programs, workshops specially targeting the school children and the policy makers of the country. Meanwhile the department of meteorology is providing necessary support to the general public through organizing annual and bi annual exhibitions for the general public by giving huge knowledge for the school children. Other than the specified services mentioned in the section which are rendered by the department of meteorology, the department is anytime ready to serve the country by providing the necessary climatological and meteorological specialized information who ever and whenever is needed.

 

Research Problem Identification

At present people are in the move of surpassing the environmental effecting obviously knowing that it is an act of impossibility there where the nature itself will teach the human beings how they are made up of through natural hazards as it was mentioned in the above section also.  The most critical factor is that the people still have not being able accept the root cause of those natural disasters at a moment where the root causes are clear visible to each and every individual in the world. The ultimate culprit was the human beings, who have originally designed the natural hazardous and enhancing of the severity of the occurrence of the natural disasters by way of searching the means to mitigating the causes from the uncertainties of the nature.

One of the most effective and the modest techniques in the process of the mitigation of the impacts from the climatic related adverse events are those that the usage of the technology of information communication or use of ICT. The usage of ICT is creating a number of positive returns to the individuals and not only that unknowingly and unseeingly for huge number of human beings, the modest technology of ICT is also consequences for the events of climate related adverse events are encouraging. In simple terms, the usage of ICT in the meantime while reducing the effects of adverse climatic factors, it encourages for the adverse and the uncertain climatic hazardous to be motivated.  The negative effects from the ICT towards the uncertain events of the climatic related hazardous occurs when the responsibility of the technology is not met the requirements appropriately and optimally.

Certain studies have so far been carried out in the world to check whether the so called techniques of the information communication has been able to utilize the information from the departments and other authorized bodies. One another main theme of those studies which were carried out so for the motive of finding the role of ICT on the use of the certain particular authorities is that the motive of finding an absolute truth. It is always known and agreed that in researches it is not evidently going beyond the absolute truth but what researches are doing always is that the work towards in search of absolute truth. In the meantime, what those academics are doing is that the availability checking of the possibilities if the usage of ICT towards mitigating the adverse effects of the climate related adverse impacts (Zanamwe and Okunoye., 2013).

The research problem of this particular study which is also related to the above discussed facts. The scope of the study will only be limited to the Sri Lankan context. And the problem of this particular study would be in lined with the effectives of the usage of the information communication technology by the department of meteorology towards the mitigation processes of the adverse climatic events and as well as for the proper functioning of the department of meteorology. Nevertheless, at the point of addressing the recommendations for the future works and for the relevant governmental organizations it essential to get to know the perceptions from the official level by the particular authorities such as meteorology department.

1.4. Research Questions

  • According to the perception of the officials at the department of meteorology, up to which extent the department of meteorology is utilizing the technology of information communication for the betterment of the citizens in the country of Sri Lanka?
  • Is there any relationship among the impacts of the technology of information communication towards the enforcements of the climate change?
  • What kind of recommendations could be driven for the optimal utilization of the information communication technology by the department of meteorology for the betterment of the Sri Lankan citizens?

 

Research Objectives

  • To figure out up to which extent the technology of information communication has been used by the department of meteorology (According to the perception of the officials at the department of meteorology).
  • To find out whether there is a relationship with the ICT and its impacts on the climate change as per the perception of the meteorological officers.
  • To make necessary recommendations for the enhancement of the usage of the information communication technology for the purpose of giving the optimal service for the citizens in Sri Lanka

 

Significant of the Study

The study which aims at searching for the role of the ICT at the meteorology department of Sri Lanka is of grave importance for almost all the stakeholders of the meteorology as well as with the ICT sector employees. The study finding s would also helpful in the future and present academics in the field of the meteorology as well as in the sector of information communication technologies. Moreover, the very vital benefit would be come for all the citizens in Sri Lanka for being able to accommodate the techniques to escape from the upcoming disasters thanks to the recommendations found by the research study. The policy makers shall get the advantage of initiating new policies towards the utilization of the ICT for the optimal functioning of the department of Meteorology. Not only those that are from the policy sides or from the meteorological aspects the employees and the stakeholders form the ICT sector would also be benefitted from the research study findings on the role of ICT in the meteorological department of the Sri Lanka. The benefit for the ICT sector is in many folds. The very and the most probable aspect of the benefits is that; through the recommendations from the study findings it is possible for the ICT sector experts to be act upon the needful actions of mitigating the inefficient use of ICT towards navigating the usage of ICT in to a more use friendly direction so effectively. While the ICT experts are in search of the actions upon the effective utilization of the ICT sector in the huge and the very uncertain field of meteorology, certain other staffs from the ICT sector would be able to figure out new job opportunities for the purpose of figuring and shaping the new ICT entities to be worked closely with the meteorological department.

 Limitations of the Study

The research has been carried out with several barriers, nevertheless from the attitude and the competency of the author or the researcher, did able to complete the assumed tasks within the time frame. The first and the foremost problem encountered in carrying out the research is that the uncertainties related with the climatic factors in case of searching for the parameters to be carried out the questionnaire.  Since the researcher had to obtain the perceptions from the officers at the meteorological department, it made a huge rush in terms of obtaining the proper permissions for the entering and the data gathering of the reviewed data of the department of the meteorology.  As the research has to be carried out within a limited time frame as well as from a corporate budget of the individuals with certain other expenses.

REFERENCES

Exline, J.D., Levine, A.S., Levine, J.S., (2006), Meteorology: An Educator’s Resource for Inquiry-Based Learning for Grades 5-9, NASA, [PDF].

Zehadi, S.R., Zahedi, S.M., (2012), Role of Information and Communication Technologies in Modern Agriculture, International Journal of Agriculture and Crop Sciences. Available online at www.ijagcs.com  IJACS/2012/4-23/1725-1728 ISSN 2227-670X ©2012 IJACS Journal

Aina LO. 2004. Library and information science text for Africa. Ibadan: Third World Information Service

Afolabi M. 2012. The Use of Information and Communication Technology in Agricultural Research in Nigerian Universities. PNLA Quarterly, the official publication of the Pacific Northwest Library Association. Pp:1-12.

Department of Meteorology, 2015., The annual report of Department of Meteorology, [PDF].

Zanamwe, N.,  Okunoye, A.,. Role of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in mitigating, adapting to and monitoring climate change in developing countries, [PDF]