An innovative and ambitious new mobile app aimed at monitoring weather conditions and warning of potential environmental dangers is set to be launched on Friday, June 1 in Accra.
Dubbed the Ghana Flood Monitoring System, the app which is a collaboration between the Member of Parliament for Klottey Korle, Dr. Zanetor Agyeman-Rawlings, Vodacom Business Ghana and the Regional Institute for Population Studies (RIPS) of the University of Ghana, is a multipurpose one that offers regular weather forecasts, warns users of potential flood prone areas during rainfall, offers recommendation on safe havens during floods, emergency contacts and allows users to monitor reported incidents of distress during floods and other related incidents.
Other partners in the establishment of the app include the Ghana Police, National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO), the Meteorological Services Department, the National Fire Service, the Hydrological Services Department of the Ministry of Water Resources, Works and Housing, the Accra Metropolitan Assembly and the 48 Engineers Regiment of the Ghana Armed Forces.
In a post on her Facebook account, the MP for Klottey Korle gives a hint of what is in store, stating:
“It is often said that, "to be forewarned, is to be forearmed." Thus, even as we work towards finding a permanent solution to the perennial floods, I have collaborated with Vodacom Business Ghana, to develop a mobile application that alerts users on weather conditions and potential disaster zones to manage possible disasters. When we work together, we can achieve great results.”
According to Dr. Agyeman-Rawlings some churches and schools are also supporting the flood monitoring system by offering the premises of their churches as safe havens.
The launch which will take place at the Ernest Bruce Memorial Methodist Church, Adabraka at 10am is open to the public.
The app concept which took almost 18 months to develop has the potential for broader citizen engagement on other issues in the community ranging from service provision and road traffic accident reporting.
Vodacom Business Ghana, the main financier of the project has adopted it as a major Corporate Social Responsibility agenda. The company is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Vodacom Group, a leading pan-African corporate connectivity and telecommunications provider that has brought affordable and reliable connectivity to Africa since 1992.
With experience in African telecommunications spanning over two decades, Vodacom connects over 1,200 of the continent’s largest and leading corporations in over 40 countries. Service sectors range from banking and finance to oil and gas, mining and construction right through to retail and distribution, as well as tourism.
Partner RIPS, is committed to training and development of the intellect, independence and character of the most competitive graduate students and faculty from across the continent and the globe and plays a leading role in population health research by pursuing excellence in education.
The Institute accomplishes its mission by mentoring students to develop their potential and integrity as experts in their field of population sciences.
A medical doctor by profession, Dr. Zanetor Agyeman-Rawlings practiced for years in Europe before returning to Ghana in 2014 during which she expended her energies into environmental issues including being a lead campaigner for safe environmental practices after the infamous June 3, 2015 flood disaster and fire which claimed over 100 lives at the Kwame Nkrumah Circle area in Accra.
Dr. Rawlings was elected Member of Parliament in 2016 and is currently member of the Business and Environment, Science and Technology committees in Parliament.