, NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 2 – Airtel Kenya has announced closure of its PayBill number that was created to raise funds to assist victims of the Westgate mall attack that left 67 people dead and hundreds of others injured.
The funds which amounted to Sh2,175,000 at midday on Monday included a portion of direct commitment by the company to match its staff contributions shilling-to-shilling.
In a statement issued while handing over the cash to the Secretary General of the Kenya Red Cross, Abbas Gullet, Airtel Kenya Managing Director Shivan Bhargava said: “We are deeply moved by the support we have received from well-wishers and our staff.”
“We continue to stand together with all our affected brothers and sisters and their families and we are hopeful that the unity and peace so far reflected by each citizen of this nation will prevail in the days to come,” he added.
Bhargava expressed his appreciation to the Kenya Red Cross, the government, relief agencies and individuals for their gallant efforts to ensure return to normalcy through rescue, relief and condolences to the affected families.
The company had also earlier set up a Wi-Fi and call centre at the blood donation operations centre at Uhuru Park besides partnering with Adelle Consultants to provide free professional counselling services to the victims of the tragedy.
Gullet thanked Airtel for their efforts while noting that the spirit of Kenyans behind the generosity and care in giving and not the amounts contributed is what mattered most.
He explained that the amounts contributed will be used to offset bills arising from the tragedy including hospital bills and the necessary trauma and psychosocial support to all victims and rescue operations staff.
Gullet went on to explain that his organization will also offer support to hospitals to improve their capacity to store higher volumes of blood, defray cost of running the ambulances used during the rescue operations and other support services.
Safaricom on Thursday last week disabled their M-PESA pay bill number 848484 after collection Sh102,331,349, which was above the Sh100m target.
Accountability for the funds was left to the Kenya Red Cross which is expected to ensure that the donations actually benefit the victims of the terror attack.