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Of floods, deaths and the Vodafone Red Alert
By Gideon A. Sackitey

Accra, July 2 - Two weeks ago, about 30 people in Ashiaman, Tema, Swedru and somewhere in Spintex right here in Accra lost their lives in what was considered a rather moderate storm that lasted for over 10 hours. The rest of the story is countless damage to property valued at millions of cedis and livelihoods that cannot be valued in monetary terms.

The cause (or causes) of this disaster is not my beef here today, though it is of critical importance.  We are all aware that these seasonal floods can be avoidable.


Indeed while we find ways of stopping future occurrences, the affected people should be helped to get their lives back to normal, they should be supported to retrieve that part of their lives that might have gone with the floods.

In times like these, it is an opportunity for the corporate world to make their essence felt and their hearts to beat for the people. Usually they would sign a cheque and make a huge donation for PR and media mileage.

However, in their usual characteristic fashion, Vodafone is leading the Way to alleviate the debilitating plight of the 25,000 people who were affected directly by the flood as well as their dependants.

Let us get this straight. We definitely may not be able to rebuild all the homes and the lives so destroyed by the floods. But together, we can all help make it better for them while offering them an opportunity to make a fresh start in many respects.

How? Vodafone is using its unique RED ALERT programme to reach out to all of its customers to come out in their numbers to help their friends and relatives who are in need. As the name suggests, it is a sharp call to action. Ghana is once again in the rainy season and already we do not have to make the deaths recorded go down the drain. The number may be small compared to some other cases out there. But the loss of one life is bad enough.

For the Vodafone Ghana Foundation, the body powering RED ALERT, it is an opportunity to move out to do something. RED ALERT is indeed a proactive move to the call by Mr Kofi Portuphy, National Coordinator of the National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO) that government needs everyone’s contribution to support relief efforts. He called for more assistance stressing that the current relief items will last only a week. “We are in a real danger,” he stated.

Red Alert as stated, is an emergency SMS fundraising programme that enables Vodafone to respond to emergencies and disasters. It provides the facility for Vodafone employees and customers in 21 countries to give free of charge via SMS in response to disasters and emergencies.

Key to all this is the fact that all Vodafone SMS charges associated with a Red Alert campaign are waived and charges relating to VAT are subject to the relevant regulations in the country.

The system is programmed for activation in other countries such as Albania, Australia, Czech Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Fiji, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Malta, Netherlands, New Zealand, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, South Africa, Spain, Tanzania, Turkey and UK.

The main aim of the Vodafone Foundation is to use this facility to develop partnerships which enhance long term disaster response and preparedness activity, working with organizations such as the United Nations Foundation, Telecoms Sans Frontieres, and the World Food Programme.

It also seeks wherever possible to make a direct contribution in response to critical humanitarian crises providing immediate funds for use by the humanitarian agencies.

It is estimated that the Vodafone Foundation has invested over £100 million in social investments around the world. The Vodafone Foundation currently operates 23 local Foundations worldwide, each funding local community projects.

The Red Alert brings to life a genuine commitment to using its scale as a force for good and supporting people in real need. It offers Vodafone a unique platform to collaborate with its customers for a good cause.

According to officials of Vodafone, the company will top up whatever amount realized to bring relief to the public.

Are you touched? Are you moved by the crippling plight of our brothers and sisters out there who through no fault of theirs lost lives, livelihoods and property and want to support the cause? Just text.

H – E – L – P TO 133 and contribute GHC1 to this worthy cause. You can text as many times as you want and do not forget that your decision can bring a cheer to many!








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Of floods, deaths and the Vodafone Red Alert

Accra, July 2 - Two weeks ago, about 30 people in Ashiaman, Tema, Swedru and somewhere in Spintex right here in Accra lost their lives in what was considered a rather moderate storm that lasted for over 10 hours...
...  More

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