Plan International Uganda has Friday launched a new mobile application to help adolescent girls in the city, especially in Kampala to uncover the areas that are safe and those that are unsafe for them.
Launching the new app named, “Safe for Her” at Imperial Royale Hotel in Kampala, the State Minister for ICT Aidah Nantaba, in her remarks read by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry Vincent Waiswa Bagire, said that although Kampala city is one of the fastest growing in Africa at a rate of 5.6%, the growth has come along with security challenges especially to young girls and women
“Girls and women remain the biggest vulnerable population when it comes to urban development. In Kampala 80% of the girls report feeling unsafe in public spaces, particularly in the markets, on the streets and recreational centres, due to high incidences of rape and theft,” remarked the minister.
“Girls continue to feel unsafe as well, on public transportation, when walking and when using passenger taxis and motorcycles.”
The minister revealed that the app will also help security stakeholders fighting crimes committed against young women.
“We want girls to be heard. We want their experience of the city to be known to people with power, for them to make change. With this Application we can now collect data on safety, which is often not readily available and it will certainly act as a tool for preventive measures against all forms of Girls’ abuse which is on the increase in the city. With this app, one will now know which this place is safe and which one to avoid.”
The Application was adopted under the Safer Cities for Girls Programme, which is a locally led programme developed and implemented in partnership between Plan International, Women in Cities International and the United Nations Human Settlements Programme.
The Kampala programme commenced in 2016 and is being implemented in the divisions of Kawempe, Rubaga and Makindye to tackle issues of safety and security for the adolescent girls there.
Through this App, young girls and women are encouraged to use the web based map of their city and dropping a purple pin on areas they enjoy and an orange one on the precise locations where they feel unsafe.
The application development comes at a time when the country is experiencing rampant abducting of younger girls and women, many of whom have been killed by the criminals
Kampala Central MP Mohamed Nsereko said the developing and sharing of tools like this app, which are adaptable for the girls is important in order to enhance gender equality, inclusion, and sustainable development that can be utilized to achieve the sustainable Development Goals.