Safaricom donates US$118K to Tana River clash victims

Kenya’s integrated telecommunications operator Safaricom has donated KSh10 million (US$118K) to families of the Tana Delta clash victims through its philanthropic arm, the Safaricom Foundation, becoming the first corporate entity to call for a speedy resolution to the fightings in the region.

At present, the deadly ethno-political Tana Delta clashes have claimed over 100 lives, displacing over 12,000 people since August 13.

The Safaricom Foundation has donated the kitty to the Kenya Red Cross, which has been joined by the local administration in giving food ,clothing, shelter, relief and health services to families of the victims now living in temporary camps.

“What is happening in the Tana Delta is unacceptable and cannot be allowed to continue,” said Safaricom chief executive Bob Collymore. “With next year being an election year, it is my plea that dialogue will prevail and replace the violence that has lamentably taken root.”

He added that if the clashes are not resolved quickly they will hurt the country’s international image, lower investor confidence and damage the tourism sector.

The Kenya Red Cross is appealing “for more help for more lasting solutions.”

“Our resources are quickly getting depleted and unless peace is quickly restored, the humanitarian situation will worsen,” said Abbas Gullet, Kenya Red Cross General Secretary.

Safaricom has in the past decade spearheaded humanitarian activities in the Kenya through its foundation. In July of last year it was at the forefront of charity initiative Kenyans for Kenya, which hit KSh19 million through M-Pesa on its second day.

This year, Safaricom pledged backing for the Kenya Paraplegic Organization’s Bring Zack Back Home, which raised over KSh70 million (around US$ 830,000) towards the KSh 250 million (approx. US$ 3,000,000) target to build a spinal injury rehabilitation facility in the country.

The Safaricom Foundation was established in 2003 and has since disbursed close to KSh1.5 Billion towards various social projects that provide sustainable solutions to the most pressing social challenges. Its focus areas include education, health, economic empowerment, environmental conservation, arts and culture, and sports.

The foundation also responds to disasters and humanitarian emergencies as they arise.

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