Airtel, Red Cross launch emergency lines

Airtel, Red Cross launch emergency lines
Airtel, Red Cross launch emergency lines

Telecommunications firm Airtel has partnered with the Kenya Red Cross to launch an emergency response centre.

Under the initiative, members of the public will be able to report emergency cases including accidents and disasters using short message services free of charge. Kenya is the second country in Africa to launch the service after Sierra Leone.

Red Cross Secretary General Dr. Abbas Gullet says the application will enable the organisation offer faster responses to members of the public, leveraging on its wide reach countrywide.

“It is a platform where ordinary Kenyans can be informed about emergency service happening in their areas and how they can move to safer areas,” said Gullet.

The service is initially available to Airtel customers only, who once they send an SMS alert, will be linked to Red Cross emergency centres for quick response by Red Cross officers and emergency crews.

The SMS service will also enable members of the public access relief distribution of clean water, food and shelter as well as emergency warnings.

In addition to disseminating alerts on disasters, the Red Cross will also use the platform to get feedback from Kenyans using questionnaires to gauge the effectiveness of the Red Cross society.

Report by Bella Genga

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