After the return of the Taliban in Afghanistan, accurate and verified information is becoming particularly difficult for locals to access. An application called Ehtesab aimsAn to help citizens navigate the changing conditions and understand the potential dangers.
Global tech news site Rest of World reported on Ehtesab, a Kabul-based Afghan start-up working to provide verified, precise information about events such as power outages, traffic jams, roadblocks and bombings. In Dari -- a Persian language spoken in Afghanistan -- Ehtesab means accountability. Most of the information is passed on by users through participatory alerts. The start-up's employees then verify and authorize the alert.
This application was created by Sara Wahedi, and since the fall of Kabul, she has been doing everything in her power to protect her female employees. Any identifying information about them is erased or avoided in the alerts, and all employees now work remotely to minimize risk.
An unfolding narrative
"We don't feel safe in the current climate considering our job is to report on issues of accountability," Sara Wahedi told Rest of World . "So we are not explicitly writing and posting about the Taliban, but we are still providing information about security risks, such as roadblocks, gunfires, looting, traffic points, electricity shortages, and gas prices. Since the app's focus is on accountability, we are keeping the citizenry updated with those aspects of daily life."
Sara and her team are currently focusing on a strategy alerting their followers to forms of danger in discreet ways. Sara Wahedi is already out of Afghanistan and trying to get her team members out. She continues to update her app to help Afghans still in the country. Read the interview on Rest of World .