Communication via satellite helps Mozambique's refugees

Disaster Prevention and Management

ISSN: 0965-3562

Article publication date: 1 August 2000



(2000), "Communication via satellite helps Mozambique's refugees", Disaster Prevention and Management, Vol. 9 No. 3.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2000, MCB UP Limited

Communication via satellite helps Mozambique's refugees

Communication via satellite helps Mozambique's refugees

Station 12 free satellite airtime and Pertec's free mini-M assists the refugees

Mozambique's refugees' basic needs are obvious: water, food, medicine and shelter, but there is a new need for them - satellite phones.

Station 12 has donated free airtime and Pertec International has donated an Inmarsat mini-M phone. Charles van der Mee, communications director of Station 12, explains:

The company felt it their duty to donate this service for people in distress to be provided with their main basic need, food.

Lawrence Hawkins, Pertec International, said:

We are more than happy to provide a satellite phone to be of assistance to this worthy cause, the Mozambique crisis.

The Wits Flying Club, the largest university flying club, are working with other South African flying clubs to distribute 150 tons of food in Mozambique, donated by the Pick n' Pay multinational supermarket chain. Once the priority food is supplied they will also be providing blankets, candles and clothing.

The mini-M satellite phone is based in Chibuto, Mozambique, so that calls can be made to the flying centre at Nelspruit South Africa, close to the Mozambique border, to advise weather reports to the pilots so they can make successful trips and deliver the food. Before the mini-M was donated many flights a day had to return unsuccessfully wasting precious fuel and food supplies. The mini-M is also being used for specific emergency requests, such as providing medical supplies promptly to hospitals in Mozambique.

The Aeroclub of South Africa, the controlling body for sport aviation, made an appeal on the Internet for all private clubs to assist in the Mozambique crisis, and the Wits Flying Club responded. Currently, there are 71 private pilots available on call and 31 light aircraft being used. Depending on the weather conditions these 31 aircraft can make two to three trips per day. Today four pilots from the Wits Flying Club have provided 2,000 people with meals, out of the 20 tons of food being provided by the flying clubs daily.

For further information please contact: Charles van der Mee, Station 12. Tel: +31 7034 32734; Fax: +31 7034 33523.

Station 12 is a KPN/Telstra joint venture, with a background of 90 years' experience in international communications. With the merger of the satellite communications interests of KPN of The Netherlands and Telstra of Australia early in 2000, Station 12 has become the world leader in global satcom.

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