The remote areas of Kunene Region will no more be cut off from the rest of country as plans are in the pipeline for the construction of 53 telecommunications towers by MTC.
According to the chairperson of Kunene Regional Council, Sesfontien Constituency Councilor Julius Kaujova, Kunene is one of the most disadvantage regions when it comes to information dissemination, data capturing and sharing due to the lack of network coverage in most of rural areas here, but that will now be a thing of the past once the 53 towers are erected.
Kaujova told New Era yesterday that only those in and around major towns, such Opuwo, Sesfontien, Outjo, Khorixas, Okanguati and Kamanjab, currently have access to network coverage and are able to communicate or get information on time.
The region has no local facility for the national broadcaster, NBC, which tends to only send journalist during high level visits, but who otherwise rarely visit the region. Positive developmental stories and others are not reported on, according to Kaujova.
He said only Khorixas and Opuwo have community radio stations and are able to receive information regularly. Most rural communities also do not have access to radio coverage and are said to get information very late, while pensioners in some areas travel to paypoints a week in advance to receive their government grants.
“Old people at times travel a week to paypoints because there is no radio coverage in the area. These elders have to stay in another village for a week,” Kaujova said.
Poor network coverage also prevents tourist form getting urgent medical care on time when needed.
During incidents of human-wildlife conflict, the Ministry of Environment and Tourism officials also cannot warn communities about problem animals in the area. “MET cannot warn communities on time about dangerous animals, but this too will be history now,” Kaujova enthused.
New Era was told that some time ago a lion attacked a man at a village in northern Kunene and partly due to the lack of network coverage in the area the community could not alert MET officials and the police in time.
Kaujova believes the construction of telecommunication towers throughout the region will also save lives. “This is the indication of prosperity and the fruits of the current leadership in our country. We applaud our government,” he said.
The management of NBC Otjiherero Radio service was also praised for the appointment of a correspondent for the region.