Tanzania Meteorological Agency (TMA), in partnership with Vodacom Tanzania, has come up with a new system which will enable people to access weather information updates through their mobile phones.
TMA Director General Dr. Agnes Kijazi, announcing the partnership at a press briefing in Dar es Salaam yesterday, said people will only be required to send text messages in order to get weather updates.
“People will only be required to write the word 'Weather,' specify the region and send to number 15588,” she said.
She said the system will be particularly useful to fishermen and farmers, whose activities depend mostly on weather conditions.
Kijazi said would-be travellers would also benefit from the arrangement.
“Through this system, wananchi will now have the chance to be aware of impending weather conditions and so schedule their activities accordingly.
The TMA chief said that customers would also automatically receive reports on emergency or dangerous weather conditions such as tsunamis or tornadoes.
"Information on emergency situations can't wait for a customer to request it; therefore it will automatically be relayed by TMA,” she said.
Dr. Kijazi said currently channels used to relay weather updates were not accessed by many people, but almost everybody had a handset.
For his part, Vodacom head of brand communication and marketing Kelvin Twissa said through the partnership the challenge of relaying weather updates had now been solved, adding that Vodacom was doing its best to reach as many Tanzanians as possible through its many products and services offered.
“To get weather updates, all a client needs to do is to write the word 'Weather' and the region required and send the massage to number 15588. For instance, to get a weather update for Dar es Salaam region, write the word 'Weather Dar' then send to 15588," he said.
The cost of one weather update SMS will be 100/, he said.