featured, News

Data Mapping Can Help Pakistani Organizations To Cope With The Flood

Avatar Written by Techjuice Team · 2 min read>

An American organization called CodeForAll has created a portal called Floodpk.com to help fight the flood effects in Pakistan. Mahwish Khan, Director of Communications at Code for Pakistan ( Pakistan branch of CodeforAll) has described the role of that portal in her Twitter account. She said;

“FloodLight is a crowdsourcing initiative where we’re plotting out information related to flood activity on a map so that those who need help can easily find it, and those who want to help can connect with others and come together as a community. Although the CfP team started this initiative in the middle of the night, using a platform called Ushahidi, this has been largely a community effort in itself.”

There are hundreds of organizations, to say the least, that are working to provide services to the flood-affected victims and they are having a hard time calculating the most crucial areas of the country that need their services the most. So this portal is for those organizations. They can look up the exact amount of severeness and effect of flood in certain areas on the map and decide where they want to reach first. Mahwish further explained;

“We set up the framework and then, as news started coming in about shelters, charity organizations, and aid, we started plugging all that information in. At some point during the day, we saw that Shafeeq Gigyani and his team had developed FloodPK.com, which was such a great resource. We teamed up with him to integrate our map with his website, and now, other people from the tech ecosystem are building on top of FloodPK.com, so it is really a go-to resource for all flood-related data.”

Their team is updating FloodLight as more data comes in, as most of the information is scattered and difficult for organizations to decipher, the team is working hard voluntarily to make sure they direct the organizations correctly. The objective is to gather data on the flood situation in Balochistan, Sindh, KPK, and Punjab, regarding a number of different aspects; as of now, you can find information regarding shelter locations, types of relief needed, locations of flooded areas, relief collection points, latest news on the flood, fundraisers and government data on the water flow.

Other data will also be added to the list in the following weeks and make it really simple for anyone to access. The collected information is presented on Ushahidi, which is an open-source solution that was originally intended for electoral mapping but has since grown to be a tool to give communities a voice.

Mubassir Hayat is the leader of the project in Pakistan and he wants more people to join his effort by contributing as much as possible. More authentic information from volunteers on the ground can truly advance the data mapping process. He said;

“I am collecting data from Swabi and I am in touch with volunteers at Al-Khidmat Foundation. We need more sources to make this data more accurate. As of now, we don’t know if the government will use this data or not, but it can certainly help them. We are collecting this data so anyone can use it. For example, a lot of people don’t know where to donate so we are collecting the donation information. We are also mapping relief collection points and shelters so people can easily find them, and we are vetting all the entries to ensure that the data we have collected is authentic”

Flood in pakistan

 

If you also want to take part in helping flood victims and you have authentic info you can add some value to the cause by going to the FloodLight option on the FloodPK.com website. Click on the yellow-orange circle with the + sign, this will open the ‘submit a survey response’ window. Then you have to select a survey response among the listed ones, this will direct you to the information panel, whereby starred categories are essentially required, and the regional latitudes and longitudes can be tracked on Google maps and entered accurately.

Mahwish Khan also shared descriptive images on how you can add info to the portal on her Twitter.

Read More: Apple CEO Tim Cook Donates $160 Million For Flood Relief Fund In Pakistan