AIDAI – CYCLONE IDAI HELP APP
When calamity strikes, people’s world changes instantly. Things like food, electricity and water go from being taken for granted to being important enough to spend most of your day fighting for. Knowledge is suddenly extremely valuable: information about which petrol stations are open, where food distributions are taking place and which organizations can help with tarps and latrines becomes all people can think about.
The city of Beira, Mozambique was hit with the devastating category 3 Cyclone Idai in March 2019, killing hundreds of people, destroying thousands of buildings, and wiping entire villages off the map. In the aftermath of the storm, many humanitarian organizations poured into the region, rescued people from the floods, and set up accommodation centers, food distributions, and temporary clinics. However, it was very difficult for many survivors who needed these services to locate the organizations.
The Equip Mozambique app development team endured the cyclone in Beira first-hand, and afterward saw an opportunity to make an impact. They got to work, even with generator-power and limited connectivity for internet, and created an app called “AIDai” that integrated Google Maps and information from humanitarian organizations to help people pinpoint where they could find the assistance they needed.
Over 10,000 people downloaded and used the app, and it became a key tool in helping link the survivors with the assistance they desperately needed. Even the national disaster hotline used AIDai extensively to connect people from afar with the humanitarian organizations. As a result, AIDai was able to help thousands of struggling people survive and slowly rebuild their lives after the disaster.
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