Govt Connects 28 Communities with Mobile Network

Tasosa (centre) briefing Botomani (in cap) and other officials Tasosa (centre) briefing Botomani (in cap) and other officials - pic by Raphael Mlozoa

Government says it has now reached to 28 rural sites out of the 136 targeted for mobile towers intended to connect people in the rural setups where mobile companies are yet to reach them.

Minister of Information, Mark Botomani, disclosed this Saturday when he launched the construction work of a tower at Mvunguti fishing community, one of the hard to reach areas along Lake Malawi in Mangochi to be constructed under the Last Mile Rural Connectivity Project.

According to Botomani, the 28 sites that have been constructed since the project started last year are now up and running with some few others under construction and expected to open soon.

“I must say that am excited with the progress because it is the vision of the government that where our network providers may not be there to provide, we should come in and construct so they can come and set up their equipment for the people to benefit,” said Botomani.

Parliamentarian for the area, Ralph Jooma, said he is happy that at last there is hope for people of Mvunguti, a community of around 6 thousand people and other surrounding areas that they will soon be connected.

Residents also hailed the development saying communication has always been a challenge as the place can only be accessed through water transport.

“This place is isolated as you can see. Absence of phone network makes it more derelict,” said Francis Mkandawire, a resident and a chairperson for Community Policing Forum.

Mkandwaire said things got worse when people go fishing with all the boats and there is a patient who wants treatment at Monkey-bay which is about 11 nautical miles but they cannot communicate with anyone through phone.

“This period of the year as fishing families we cross to the other side of the lake in Makanjira. That’s where we manage to have a good catch so, the village is left mostly with old, sick and young people who cannot manage difficult situations without communicating to us,” explained Mkandawire.

According to Titus Tasosa, Deputy Managing Director for Huawei Malawi, who are constructing the towers they are expecting to finish the work in a period of three months.

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