18 February 2020
The Tunisian government has partnered with the country’s mobile operators to develop an SMS-based early warning system to alert the public to risks of major natural disasters.
It forms part of the launch of the GSMA’s ‘We Care’ initiative in Tunisia by Ooredoo, Orange and Tunisie Télécom and is the first launch of ‘We Care’ in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).
The initiative is a collaboration with the Tunisian ministries of Interior and ICT. All parties are also committed to a Declaration of Intent.
This new service will use text messaging to provide information before and during major natural disasters, improving 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. It will then be the operators job to send an appropriate SMS alert to people in the affected areas. The service is expected to be in place before the next rainy season of 2020, likely to begin in September.