Mobile titan Safaricom says that its customers redeemed one billion Bonga points during the months of April and May.
The lottery points valued at Ksh 301 million were redeemed as part of an initiative dubbed ‘Bonga for Good’ that the telco had initiated as part of its far-reaching endeavours to cushion Kenyans from the horrifying effects of COVID-19.
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Bonga for Good allowed customers to redeem 1 Bonga Point for 30 cents at over 140,000 Lipa Na M-Pesa merchants countrywide.
Ordinary Kenyans could walk to any shop that has Lipa Na M-Pesa and use their Bonga points to get crucial supplies and household items. Even without money, they could also donate Bonga points to dependents in the villages and towns to help them weather the coronavirus storm.
At a time when the ranging virus continues to upend jobs and reverse fortunes countrywide, the nobility of the Bonga for Good initiative represented a new period of harmony in the lives of families already living on the edge of survival.
As of June 3rd, Safaricom says that over 200,000 needy Kenyans had benefited from the scheme.
The telco recons that it had nearly Ksh 4 Billion worth of unused Bonga points that Kenyans were yet to claim. CEO Peter Ndegwa encouraged customers to donate their unused points as a gesture of goodwill. Over half of the total one billion redeemed bong points were transfers to needy Kenyans.
Retailers Naivas, Tuskys and Khetia processed the bulk of purchases made through Bonga points. Safaricom says that household items, Solar solutions and bill payments made up a list of the most redeemed items during the two months.
In the age of COVID-19, Safaricom has cashed out nearly 6 billion shillings to arbitrate various initiatives solely meant to cushion Kenyans from the negative effects of a virus that has tested the very soul of this nation.
The World Health Organization says even though the unique financial uncertainties presented by the pandemic cannot be resolved overnight, it is local innovative solutions that will shield poor households from the worst effects. The Bonga for Good initiative is a perfect example.
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