Electronic cards ease World Vision Uganda's food distribution process

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Last Mile Mobile Solutions (LMMS) cards ease World Vision Uganda distributions

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Electronic cards ease World Vision’s food distribution process

Flavia Lanyero

When disasters like famine, earthquakes or floods hit an area, many people are left homeless and vulnerable, literally begging for aid like food and clothes.

It is not uncommon to find a multitude of people lining up in long queues with pieces of paper which would be verified by not less than two authorities before they can get aid. This is not only tedious to the food beneficiaries but also to the staff who distributed and verified the paper cards.

With an electronic card system called Last Mile Mobile Solutions (LMMS), World Vision has been able to cut down on bureaucracies, allowing communities to access aid especially food in the easiest and shortest time.

The LMMS is a hand held device used to register recipient information electronically and ultimately producing a bar-coded photo card.

When swiped on the same hand held device, this card produces the information needed to determine the recipient’s identity.

Kevin Aguti is one such beneficiary of this card

“I had to wrap the other paper in a polythene bag so that it is not destroyed by rain or termites, but with this card, I can put it in any safe place and I am not worried,” Ms Oguti says with relief. She receives maize flour, cooking oil, soya beans and cowpeas from World Vision’s Food for Nutrition program in Abim district.

Ekra Komenan, the Commodities Manager World Vision Uganda says the LMMS system is more secure, fast and minimizes errors. 

“The card indicates whether or not a person has received food and thus some one cannot get food twice. The same card can be used for several years and cannot easily be destroyed,” Mr Komenan said, adding:

“Before, staff had to write a lot of reports now the time a person takes to be scanned in the line is reduced therefore reducing distribution time. Also, when a child or beneficiary’s duration of receiving food expires, they are automatically removed from the system, allowing other children to get onto the system.”

Currently World Vision is implementing two food distribution programs in Karamoja region: one for nutrition and the other under the food for work program.

So far, 6,500 beneficiaries have these cards in Uganda, with plans to scale it up into other World Vision programmes in the country.

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