The Government of Tunisia is collaborating with the country’s mobile operators to develop an SMS-based early warning system to alert citizens at risk of major natural disasters.
The new service forms part of the launch of the GSMA’s ‘We Care’ initiative in Tunisia by local operators Ooredoo, Orange and Tunisie Telecom, marking the first launch of We Care in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.
The initiative is a collaboration with the Tunisian Ministry of Interior and the Tunisian Ministry of Technologies of Communication and Digital Economy.
When a major risk is identified, the Ministry of Interior will send notifications to the mobile operators based on recommendations from the National or Regional Natural Disaster Committees. These notifications will include the content of the alert to be broadcast and the location of the area concerned. The operators will then send an appropriate SMS alert to citizens in the affected areas. The service is expected to be in place before the next rainy season of 2020, likely to begin in September.
“The GSMA is delighted to be working in collaboration with the Tunisian government and the country’s mobile ecosystem on the successful launch of ‘We Care’ in Tunisia. The new SMS alert system is a great demonstration of how industry players can work together to enable mobile technology to play a vital role in protecting citizens,” said Jawad Abbassi, Head of MENA region, GSMA.
“Our citizens are increasingly demanding reliable, accurate and timely information during the floods. This is why it is essential for us to have a public alert system based on digital solutions that will be accessible to everyone,” said Mohamed Anouar Maarouf, Minister of Communication Technologies and the Digital Economy.
“The health and safety of our customers and all Tunisian citizens is one of the top priorities for a socially responsible operator such as Ooredoo. This is why we have put at their disposal all our direct and targeted means of communication, and why we have joined forces with the Ministry of Technologies, Communication and Digital Economy, the Ministry of the Interior and all the various stakeholders to support this We Care project,” said Mansoor Rashid Al Khater, CEO, Ooredoo Tunisia.
“Orange Tunisia is committed to doing everything we can to ensure a safe environment for our Tunisian customers. The launch of the new SMS alert system could potentially save lives in the event of a disaster, so we are working with the government to implement it as soon as possible,” said Thierry Millet, CEO, Orange Tunisia.
“Arising naturally from its desire to be a socially responsible company, Tunisie Telecom strongly supports an SMS alert system that will warn its fellow citizens of flooding risks. This service reinforces the culture of vigilance and security that we support not only with conviction, but also through technology. We are therefore proud to contribute to the deployment of this important GSMA We Care initiative,” said Fadhel Kraiem, CEO, Tunisie Telecom.