The Kenya Red Cross Society (KRCS) in partnership with Safaricom early September rolled out a system – SMS based – aimed at providing early information about impending disasters in a bid to ensure the community is safe.
With the seemingly uncontrolled and severe effects often associated with disasters, the tool is everything you need to ensure that your loved ones are safe.
The system dubbed M-Salama is highly convenient and accessible to all individuals with a Safaricom line. Some of the information it provides include early warnings on disasters or information on imminent naturals happenings like floods, drought, and famine. This way, you and your family or the community will be better placed at making worthy choices to stay safe.
The long-term focus of the partnership between the Kenya Red Cross and Safaricom is to ensure that the country has the upper hand when it comes to disaster preparedness. It also seeks to strengthen the community resilience.
Dr. Abbas Gullet, the Secretary General of Kenya Red Cross said that the platform, M-Salama is a timely innovation that will save lives due to its speed in communicating with the target audiences.
Through the system, more than ten million early warning messages were sent out during the recent floods and the information provided guidance to various families on where to be to avoid the disaster. This shows the vitality of the platform in saving lives.
The telecommunications companies today, are well placed to offer colossal support in disaster reduction by using their resources. The partnership is a clear indication of how telcos can improve the timely flow of crucial information before, during and after the disaster.
M-Salama leverages both organizations’ core strengths; Safaricom’s capacity to communicate quickly to large numbers of the population through its SMS infrastructure and Kenya Red Cross’ knowledge and skills in disaster risk reduction and management.
The M-Salama emergency SMS information system strives to reduce the loss of lives and property, both which have a severe impact on the survival, dignity, and livelihood of individuals and reversal of development gains.
Anyone can access M-Salama by dialing *600#. Ever text message costs a shilling.