Improving Security by Digitizing Kenya’s Hoods Using the Ujirani App
In the wake of growing insecurity in Kenya following different terrorists attacks; and the narrations doing rounds in Kenya is that the government measures to provide citizen better security is wanting. Four young tech-preneurs have decided to take matters into their own hands, and contribute towards making a safer Kenya.
John Njiri, Catherine Muya, Muaad Abdirahman and Cynthia Anyango under the guidance of their mentor Boaz Yaya have developed the Ujirani App. The app is set to launch sometime in December and is aimed at consolidating community efforts towards solving the growing insecurity in Kenya.
As cited by TechMoran, Anyango said, “While some of the cases can simply be solved, basic community policing; just reporting suspicious incidences to relevant authorities before they breed up. Another thing is lack of a relevant platform that can enable neighbors to know each other, communicate effectively and freely.”
The app works by bringing members from ten different households living in the same neighborhood into a single platform where they can discuss matters on security in their neighborhood.
Anyango further said, “Neighbors from ten different households get to choose an admin or Chairman (someone who will be common to all of them) the admin will then download the app, create a group, add neighbors and he/she gets to choose various service providers who will be available to them during emergencies.”
The neighbors added by the admin into the platform will be alerted via SMS. A download link to the app will also be included in the SMS. Once they have downloaded the app, they will be automatically added to the group, and can join in on the conversation held at the Ujirani app.
The Ujirani App also comes with a panic button that users can press in the event of an emergency like on-going theft, terror attack, medical emergencies, fire or any other kind of accident. When the panic button is pressed, it sends out an alert to the security agents or health service workers’ control rooms depending on the type of alarm raised. All the neighbors who have joined the group will also receive SMS notification on the alarm raised.
The developers further said that although the hardware employed by the Ujirani app is something that has already been in existence in Kenya. The predecessor technology was not mobile and was quite expensive to roll out. Ujirani app is an innovative version of the same as it packages this technology into something people can move around with in their smartphones