The community currency is in the form of mobile money and contributes to economic security especially as the #COVID19 pandemic continues.
Sarafu allows trade amongst the community thereby increasing productivity, promoting a saving culture & enabling access to basic necessities. https://t.co/LAjHCtruAL
— Kenya Red Cross (@KenyaRedCross) April 21, 2020
The Kenya Red Cross, a humanitarian organization at the forefront in the fight against Covid-19 pandemic in Kenya, has implemented and is using Sarafu, a blockchain-based community currency, to help provide needed mobile money credit to low-income neighborhoods in Kenya.
Sarafu is the brainchild of Grassroots Economics, an organization pushing for adoption of blockchain-based community inclusive currencies (CICs), and has so far seen impressive results in its uptake in key neighborhoods in Nairobi and Mombasa, the two largest cities in Kenya.
A look at the trade volumes shows a steep rise in usage of Sarafu when Kenya Red Cross started using this community currency to send the needed cash credits to those in need sometime in mid-April:
The successful transfers are helping residents purchase vital supplies as the graph below shows:
In a statement, the Kenya Red Cross said:
“Kenya Red Cross, Grassroots Economics and Danish Red Cross are implementing a block-chain backed, e-voucher community currency project in Mukuru Kayaba. Community members are registered and given a credit 400 token/Sarafu equal to Ksh 400 to buy and sell basic commodities.”
This initiative is part of a 2-year program to deploy blockchain-backed ‘local currencies’ to enable economic activity and spur trade in poor rural and slum communities in Kenya.
The program, in partnership with Grassroots Economics, is expected to reach over 320, 000 users. It will commence in Kenya and eventually get rolled out in Malawi, Myanmar, Zimbabwe, Cameroon, and Papua New Guinea in the next two years.
The above serves as an excellent blockchain use case that offers a transparent approach to funds distribution and usage in the middle of a crisis.
NB: BitcoinKE reached out to the Kenya Red Cross for more information. Look out for a future post, and podcast featuring the Kenya Red Cross, covering how the response to Sarafu adoption by Kenya Red Cross has been received so far
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