Airtel Kenya has announced a road safety initiative in partnership with Frotcom East Africa in a bid to encourage safe driving of public service vehiclesin order to reduce road accidents on Kenyan roads.
The initiative has been launched jointly with 2NK SACCO, one of Kenya’s leading transport SACCO and will target 550 public service vehicles plying the Nyeri – Nairobi route. The new system which is being fitted by Frotcom East Africa Ltd and Airtel Kenya will allow the management to track all vehicles within the country.
Airtel Kenya MD Shivan Bhargava said that company believed that business was not an end in itself but rather a means to helping the society achieve more, and that Airtel has a special role in helping Kenyans accomplish more in their daily lives.
“This initiative will help to reduce road accidents on Kenyan roads whose significant direct cost in lives lost, social and economic implications cannot be ignored. We are pleased and that this new product and partnership will contribute to the much needed preservation of lives by reducing the speeds and improving the safety of passengers in the vehicles, thereby reducing the risk of road accidents that threaten the lives of the thousands of Kenyan (wananchi) commuters including children using the roads on a daily basis, not only on public transport but in general,” said Mr Bhargava.
The new system will also enable geo-tracking of the more than 550 vehicles in the SACCO’s fleet, relaying messages of speed limit violation to the SACCO management. It will also track fuel consumption in their vehicles and give alerts when a vehicle diverts from its intended route which will assist in managing misuse and any possible criminal cases such as incidences of carjacking or vehicle theft. Estimated financial benefits show that the SACCO members could save up to Kshs40 million annually by sealing revenue leakage loopholes with the use of this product.
This partnership with Airtel will also benefit the SACCO members in many ways including access to data enabled devices (handsets) with Airtel numbers that they can pay for through monthly installments. These devices will enable them to make unlimited calls on Airtel using the closed user group rates within the SACCO group members anywhere in Kenya and access the Internet easily through the devices on Airtel’s data network. Also included in the partnership is payment of fares through Airtel Money and direct transfer of cash from the Airtel Money pay points in the matatu directly to the owners thereby reducing the risk associated with handling cash.
According to the 2NK SACCO chairman, James Kahiro, the SACCO is embracing the new system to help reduce accidents on Kenyan roads and enable them to manage the vehicles professionally.
Mr Kahiro said that ICT is the way to go in business today and we want to do this to further enforce compliance to traffic rules rather than evasion, further urging other transport SACCO’s in the country to follow suit and acquire similar management systems.
Bharti Airtel has undertaken several initiatives in the social welfare space to ensure inclusive growth and positive impact in society. In the last one year, the company has extended its initiative by providing mobile phones, lines and air time to several Kenya Police units in Coast, Rift Valley and parts of the country to enhance security through timely and efficient communication between the police officers and the police stations and also between the police and the community at large.