Ncell has been disseminating early warning SMS alerts to people living in flood-prone areas, contributing to saving lives and properties from monsoon floods each year. In the last two months, the company has sent over 4.4 million such SMS, pre-informing people from flood risk areas.
The areas where SMS alerts were disseminated this year include downstream communities or basins of major rivers such as Narayani, Babai, Rapti, Kankai, Bagmati, Koshi, and Karnali, among others. Ncell under its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has been pre-notifying risks of flood via SMS since 2016 in collaboration with the Department of Hydrology and Meteorology (DHM).
Under this Ncell and DHM collaboration for Early Warning System (EWS), Ncell has been broadcasting SMS alerts to the public mainly during the monsoon season. Early warning SMS alerts ensure that people get pre-informed about the risk and move to safe locations with their belongings, while organisations involved in disaster response and preparedness get time to act on time. When the water level returns to normal in the rivers, people also receive an SMS alert that there is no looming risk, and they can now return to their places.
Jabbor Kayumov, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Ncell said, “At Ncell, we are committed to serving people and the community of Nepal. Leveraging on our technical expertise and reach, we are pleased to support our community of Nepal with timely dissemination of flood alerts contributing to reducing potential loss of lives and properties every year during monsoon. This collaborative initiative under our CSR is a testament to how public-private partnership can deliver results for the betterment of our society.”
DHM through its telemetry stations keeps close track of the hydrological and metrological situations and triggers the messaging based on the level of water in the rivers. Ncell upon DHM’s request broadcasts location-based alert messages to people living along the downstream communities of rivers known for creating flood mayhem via short code number 1155, which is also a DHM’s toll-free hotline dedicated to providing information updates on flood situations.
According to the Flood Forecasting Division of DHM, with almost all households having access to GMS mobile service, flood SMS alert has been one of the most effective mediums in the flood EWS to minimize loss of lives and properties, and it is thankful to Ncell for collaboration in this noble cause. It says that apart from individuals within the identified hazard zones, these alerts are also sent to vital organisations involved in disaster risk reduction, including the National Emergency Operating Centre for necessary activities on disaster response and preparedness.
As part of continued collaboration, last year Ncell disseminated over 78 Lakhs such flood alerts mainly during monsoon to the public from basins and communities that are identified as flood-prone areas. After signing an agreement for this initiative in 2016, Ncell and DHM strengthened the association further in 2018 for improving disaster preparedness.
As a responsible corporate citizen, Ncell remains committed to serving people and the community and is also exploring possibilities to implement EWS for other hydro-meteorology related disasters too. As DHM installs new telemetry devices and expands hydro-meteorological stations, Ncell will continue to provide similar connectivity support to those stations, so that more people could benefit from the EWS initiative.