Askari means the police in Swahili, but often if you call in an emergency the overstretched police don’t actually come in Uganda. A local company called Vihlix based in Kampala have instead created an innovative android application called Askari that is aimed at helping the users keep themselves safe whether visiting or living in Uganda.
Vihlix believes the police in Uganda are overstretched. On top of that, people lack the relevant information about security in Uganda to help them make the right choices. Both the police and the people need extra help. Askari provides users with the right information they should have about security and safety in the country. The app has a map of danger zones that users can access.
It also has a feature that sends a danger zone alert and it vibrates once the user is within 100 metres of the danger zone.
Murder rate of over 36%
Uganda experiences a high number of crime ranging from robbery to terrorism. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), says Uganda has a murder rate of 36.3 per 1,000 of the population in 2012, the third highest in Africa.
Timothy Lubega, co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Vihlix says crime takes place normally because people don’t know the dangerous zones or nearby police stations.
Track stolen phones
The app also has a feature that allows one to track phones via web and SMS messages if they get stolen. Users can also submit reports about vehicles involved in crime allowing others to use and cross reference the information with their own.
The company is targeting Smartphone users living in Uganda. They are also seeking a partnership with the Uganda Police Force. They plan to generate revenues through advertisements once they attract a good number of users. The app can be accessed on Google Play for free.
Additional reporting by Apps Africa