New SMS warning system could save lives in Nepal

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An old women from Nepal

Isn’t it great to see technology harnessed for the right reasons? It’s easy to forget how amazing technology can be when you’re always seeing people out to lunch, just staring at their phones and not appreciating each other’s company. However, this week we heard about one great idea of how to use reliable and accessible technology to help people cope with hardship and even save lives.

Nepal Telecom signed an agreement last week to send early warning signals via SMS, in order to help the public prepare for extreme weather conditions and natural disasters.

The service has infinite potential to limit the damage caused by future disasters, which is a promising idea for those still in recovery from a devastating earthquake last month. One of the key comments throughout the media in aftermath of the recent earthquake, is that the people of Nepal need information as much as food or any other resource in order to recover. This service could be the answer to that demand.

Trilogy Emergency Relief Application, the location-targeted SMS system, is at the height of technological innovation. Messages will contain warnings related to floods and earthquakes, updates on earthquake aid and more.

The announcement of the potentially life-saving SMS service gives hope to many Nepalese people, who whilst still recovering from the recent earthquake, are also now facing Monsoon season coming up in June.

The service should have the kind of extensive reach to citizens that no other medium could provide, as 86% of the population use mobile phones. While only 30% are estimated to have internet access, by nature of having a mobile phone, all users are able to receive SMS. This means that the largest portion of the population can be accessed using SMS. This is important because in times of disaster, protecting everyone is vital, not just a small portion with access to more resources.

According to estimations, the service will reach more than 1.1 million users.

We hope that the new service will make a huge differences helping people prepare, as well as recover, and keep themselves and their friends and families safe.

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Felicity Cullen

Marketing assistant at Esendex