Yayasan Peta Bencana, supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and endorsed by Indonesian National Board for Disaster Management (BNPB), as part of the USAID Cognicity OSS for Next Generation Community Engagement in DRM Program, through the Investing in Human Capital for Disaster Management initiative, officially launched the first WhatsApp Humanitarian Chatbot, BencanaBot. The first-of-its-kind, AI-assisted chatbot guides Indonesian residents to submit disaster reports. These reports are mapped in real-time on a free and open source platform, PetaBencana.id, where anyone is able to view and share real-time disaster updates in order to make coordinated, evidence-based decisions about safety and response.
Floodwaters up to 3 meters high destroyed dozens of homes in North Sulawesi on Friday, and torrential rains have flooded several areas in Indonesia during the first month of the year. BMKG has issued a warning for peak rainfall across the country this week, with the monsoon season expected to continue into March. In preparation for the upcoming extreme weather and in line with BNPB’s vision of Indonesia Tangguh 2045, the launch of BencanaBot on WhatsApp is a pivotal next step in strengthening preparedness and community-led disaster risk reduction.