Digital Friday >>> Ehtesab - The App Saving Lives in Afghanistan
Picture Source: CNN website
Afghanistan has found itself in a constant state of disarray ever since the Taliban took control of the country. From thousands of people still trying to flee the country to the recent suicide bombings in the Kunduz Mosque which killed and injured more than 100 people, the country’s citizens are in desperate need of a reliable and accurate information source to help them and their families stay safe and navigate through the chaos.
Sara Wahedi, founder of the app “Ehtesab”, understood the importance of having such a platform when she herself survived a suicide bombing attack. “We started this initiative to target one goal and one mission and that was - how do we keep Kabul residents, and essentially in the future, Afghan citizens informed and engaged and also at the same time keeping those who are meant to serve them accountable”.
- Founder of Ehtesab, Sara Wahedi Picture Source: Time Magazine
“Ehtesab” translates roughly to “accountability” from Dari to English and the app aims to help verify information such as explosions, power outages, checkpoints or even dishonest gas prices. In 2018 after Sara survived a suicide bombing attack, she understood that there was a problem getting important information out to the public in Afghanistan. She comments, “ I was really confused by the fact that there was no real time information about what was going on in the city, especially in a city consistently reeling with instability”.
The app currently has 20 people working on it to verify incidents and make sure the information on the app is as accurate and up-to-date as possible. Since the Taliban takeover of the state, the app has seen a surge in downloads as many people in the region try their best to stay updated. Sara and her team are persistent to make sure that the app is running as best it can. “We have taken the situation at hand and done the best that we can with it, and the team doesn't want to stop… and they said that until we can, until they shut down the internet we are going to keep doing this, and that's what we have been doing”.
- The application Picture Source: Ehtesab website
Even past all the wars and brutalities in the region, there is still hope for Afghanistan, as people like Sara and her team try their best to make life as safe as possible for Afghans in the country.
October 15th 2021 | 12.15 PM