Home Startups Remembers Souls Kenya Lost During #GarissaAttack Remembers Souls Kenya Lost During #GarissaAttack

by Sam Wakoba
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garisOn April 2, armed gunmen attacked and sprayed bullets to a gathering of univesity students, killing a total of 148 lives and several others unaccounted for.

The 148 beat Westgate’s 67-recorded deaths and were marked as the most horrible cases by Kenyans both online offline. Terror aside, Kenyans have been united to both mourn and celebrate the lives of the dear ones who lost their lives on that fateful day and as well join the beareaved families to show they care.

NotForgotten has a database of all the names the Kenyan victims of all internal and external terror attacks so as they live among us and not just become a statistic.

“The mission of this project is to make sure that WE NEVER FORGET! The individuals featured here died in different, often preventable, attacks. We reduced them to numbers and statistics because it was easier for us as a nation and society to cleanse ourselves of our culpability. We could have asked for more efficient response, better security, better communication of intelligence, and more accountability. We failed to see the links. We were comfortable forgetting. NO MORE!,” the site says on its website.

Visitors can as well donate, volunteer or donate their birthday.

From Westgate, to Mandera Bus Attacks to Thika Road Blasts and the Shifa War, the site aims to put a name to all the victims and describe them as human beings and not just numbers of dead victims.

The site is a sign of hope and not fear as Kenyans come together to remember their brothers and sisters who died innocently and as well put pressure on the government to do something to tackle terrorism.

“No human being’s death should ever be reduced to a statistic. No one’s life should ever be considered less important than that of another,” the site concludes.

Police hotlines

Police hotlines

Another app dubbed KaaRada Nairobi slang for be cautious, has been developed to help users report suscipicious terrorism and criminal activity in their estates, public parks, schools, buses or even report missing people among other things. Build similar to Kijicho App, an in-car chat tool that allows passengers to report any overspeeding and other evils by public service drivers and crew, KaaRada has police hotlines for users to call in case of an emergency and as well a chat section to report their cases.

Though the app looks beautiful, it might not see the light of the day as a standalone terror reporting app minus crowdsourcing reports from social services like Twitter like Ma3Route does. Though Ushahidi made it, it was majorly a mapping tool. Reporting and mapping are pretty different and most probably people want to react to things after they have happened than reporting them even if they affect them. That’s the culture the country needs to change.

App downloads and usage in Kenya is also low and the most popular apps are social networks or gaming and entertainment apps. The fact that a fire can be tweeted so fast and easily and to a huge crowd makes  Twitter the likely tool everyone might turn to. The ability to tag authorities makes more sense than an app with three hundred hippy users who value Snapchats than their own security.

And who is a terrorist anyway? A muslim man or woman stranded near a church building?, a corruption reporting app has been live for a while but is less utilized and hugely unkown by the tech community itself until it couldn’t pay for its own hosting charges. Twitter will be king at the end of the day!

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