In Kenya, disaster preparedness is a disaster in itself !! We like to wait until the last minute to rush in and try to save a situation that could have been easily avoided. However, there appears to be light at the end of the tunnel as the Kenya Red Cross Society (KRCS) has partnered with Safaricom to introduce an SMS-based information tool to provide early warning of disasters in the area. aim to reduce adverse effects on communities.
The aptly named M-Salama platform will be accessible to all Safaricom subscribers. It will offer information on imminent or upcoming natural disasters such as floods, famine and drought to enable users to make early decisions on how to stay safe from harm. In the long term, the partnership aims to improve disaster preparedness and strengthen the resilience of communities.
The platform will build on the strengths of both organizations, namely Safaricom’s ability to communicate quickly with large numbers of people via SMS. Considering that the Kenya Red Cross has knowledge and skills in disaster risk reduction and management.
Dr. Abbas Gullet, Secretary General, KRCS said this about the platform, M-Salama is a timely innovation that will save lives due to its speed of communication with target audiences. During the recent floods, we sent more than ten million early warning messages, information that has guided many families to move to heights. Today, telecommunications operators are well positioned to offer colossal disaster reduction support by using their resources to improve the flow of critical information before, during and after the disaster.
To access M-Salama, all you have to do is dial * 600 # on your Safaricom line and each SMS costs Ksh. 1.