31 January 2013

Kenya: Airtel in PSV Safety Campaign

Nairobi — Airtel Kenya has announced a road safety initiative in partnership with Frotcom East Africa in a bid to encourage safe driving of public service vehicles in order to reduce accidents on Kenyan roads.

The initiative has been launched jointly with 2NK SACCO, one of Kenya's leading public service transport provider and it 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 Managing Director Shivan Bhargava said that the company believes that business is not an end in itself, but rather a means to helping the society achieve more, and added 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," he said.

"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 commuters including children using the roads on a daily basis," he added.

The new system will also enable geo-tracking of the more than 550 vehicles in the firm'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 Sh40 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 with Airtel numbers that they can pay for through monthly instalments.

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.

He added 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."

The 2NK chairman urged other transport SACCO's in the country to follow suit and acquire similar management systems.

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