US-based drone delivery service, Zipline, has launched its first Nigerian distribution centre in Kaduna, after a very successful operations in Rwanda and Ghana.
Last October, during the company’s fifth anniversary, Zipline announced a partnership with the Kaduna state government that would see to the development of 3 distribution centres in the state.
It uses drones to deliver medical equipment and supplies to doctors in rural areas. This is especially useful in countries like Nigeria where only 30% of the roads are paved and half of the population live in rural areas with little access to unpaved roads.
The company launched in Rwanda in 2016 where it reduced blood delivery times from 4 hours to 20 minutes using drones that travel up to 100 km/h. In 2019, the company launched in Ghana to help deliver yellow fever vaccines to rural areas.
Since launch, the company has executed over 200,000 deliveries to 2,000 medical centres in Ghana and Rwanda.
In Kaduna, Zipline’s strategy lies in easing medical transportation in a state plagued by banditry and kidnapping.
In 2021 alone, over 1,192 people were killed in the state while 3,348 people were kidnapped. In many of these cases, the required medical attention could not reach victims because roads were unpassable. With its drones, the company can bypass security threats and potholes, and take medical attention where needed.
Senior Vice President Daniel Marfo also announced that the company is looking to expand to Bayelsa and Cross River, 2 other Nigerian states plagued by banditry.
It looks like the Nigerian government has once again found a band-aid for its bullet wounds.