Monday, May 29, 2023

Zipline to begin operations in Kenya after successful flight tests

It is all systems go for Zipline operations in Kenya after successfully testing its systems.

The logistics company which uses drones to deliver medical products on Monday conducted test flights of its instant logistics and delivery system in Chemelil, Kisumu County.

The tests came ahead of the launch of its commercial delivery services in the country in the coming weeks.

After already flying more than 35 million commercial miles, this is not a test flight to prove our technology, but one to demonstrate to our partners in Kenya its reliability

Winfred Njeri, General Manager of Zipline Kenya

Kenya becomes Zipline’s fifth country of operation in Africa after successful launches in Rwanda, Ghana, Nigeria and Cote D’Ivoire.

Memorandum of Understanding

Zipline had last year signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Kisumu County Government, in which Zipline will deliver more than 200 medical products, including COVID-19 vaccines and blood products, to over 400 health facilities across the county.

The has since completed the construction of a distribution hub in Chemelil, in Muhoroni Sub-County.

Winfred Njeri, General Manager of Zipline, Kenya said it is all systems go.

We are excited and honored to be partnering with the County Government of Kisumu, our first customer in Kenya and we look forward to serving more counties from this hub

Winfred Njeri

She termed the breakthrough as a significant step towards the county’s universal health coverage goals.

She spoke during a test flight at the distribution hub which will be the firm’s point of dispatch of the medical products.

The hub is equipped with a state-of-the-art warehousing facility and cold chain storage that keeps all products within the recommended standards for delivery.

 “After already flying more than 35 million commercial miles, this is not a test flight to prove our technology, but one to demonstrate to our partners in Kenya its reliability,” said Ms Njeri.

She added: “We are excited and honored to be partnering with the County Government of Kisumu, our first customer in Kenya and we look forward to serving more counties from this hub.”

In addition to delivering blood, medicine and medical supplies, Zipline delivers animal health and husbandry products to farmers.

“Our instant logistics system will enable community health facilities to consistently receive the medical products they need when they need them,” she said.

Governor Nyong’o (right) being taken through Zipline flight proceedures during the test flights

Sorting drug supply logistical challenges

“This is historic because it marks the first ever drone delivery in Kisumu, and perhaps in Kenya.  We have surely been looking forward to this day,” said Kisumu Governor Prof Anyang’ Nyong’o who witnessed the test flights.

He said the drone technology will help to break the complex logistical arrangements when replenishment of drugs is required in hospitals.

This technology has also been used in Ghana showing that:  vaccine stock outs were shortened by 60 per cent and missed opportunities due to decreased inventory work decreased by 42 per cent

Governor Anyang’ Nyong’o

“I take this opportunity to challenge Zipline and all other government officials to hasten the completion of the remaining steps that will pave the way for full deployment of the technology,” he said.

He added: “This technology has also been used in Ghana showing that:  vaccine stock outs were shortened by 60 per cent and missed opportunities due to decreased inventory work decreased by 42 per cent.”

Zipline operates on three continents and completes an instant delivery on behalf of businesses and governments every two minutes.

To date, Zipline has delivered more than 500,000 packages, more than five million products, and flown more than 35 million autonomous miles.

The company’s instant logistics system is used globally to support the healthcare, food delivery and ecommerce sectors.

Kevine Omollo
Lake Region Bulletin is your one stop multi-media platform for news from Lake Region Counties of Kisumu, Siaya, Homa Bay, Migori, Kisii, Nyamira, Vihiga, Kakamega, Busia, Bungoma, Trans Nzoia, Nandi, Kericho and Bomet. Email: komollo@lakeregionbulletin.co.ke omollokevine@gmail.com

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