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. The various parties will commit to a Declaration of Intent during a signing ceremony in Tunis today.
Tunisia regularly suffers from flooding disasters, often following torrential rains, which in some cases causes loss of life, as well as serious material damage. In September 2018, severe weather in Tunisia’s Cap Bon peninsula caused human casualties and property damage.
In response to such events, the new service will use an SMS alert mechanism to provide instant targeted information before and during major natural disasters, improving disaster preparedness and response. 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 launch of this initiative on 16 January 2020 and was attended by:
- The Minister of ICT Mr. Mohamed Anouar Maarouf
- The Minister of Interior Mr. Hichem Fourati
- The PDG of Tunisie Telecom Mr. Fadhel Kraiem
- The CEO of Orange Tunisia Mr. Thierry Millet
- The Director-General of Ooredoo Tunisia Mr. Mansoor Rashid Al Khater