Thousands of residents in remote areas of Kitui County that were previously not linked to the basic mobile telephony have finally been connected. Safaricom under its licence obligation has constructed telecommunication sites in Mwanzugululu in Katia sub-location that will provide coverage to the surrounding villages.
More than 30,000 residents from Katia, Kanthungu, Kavaani and Ikime sub-locations were initially unable to receive or make calls. The construction of this new site now means they will be able to enjoy mobile services for the first time. This is as a result of the Universal Service Obligation that requires mobile network providers to offer services to unserved areas as per their licence conditions.
The site will provide coverage to Nguuku Village in Mumoni Ward and Kanthungu site in Kanthungu sub-location, providing coverage in Nthagani village in Tharaka ward.
Safaricom also built a site in Inyanzai Primary School that provides coverage in Kasiluni Village in Ngomeni Ward.
These sites built under the Universal Service Obligation will now complement, those constructed in the area under the Universal Service Fund (USF).
“The populations in the three sub-locations of Kanthungu, Katia and Kavaani are now connected to the fast-evolving telecommunication services and can respond and contribute to the national growth agenda as they resolve local concerns using ICTs as the enabler,” Mercy Wanjau, the Ag. Director Communications Authority said in Mwingi North during the site inspection by the ICT Senate Committee in the area.
During the inspection, the Authority confirmed that there was a significant improvement on the successful calls from 83% to 98.9% in Nthagani. Nguuku showed the most significant improvement with 100% successful calls from 69%. The success rate at Kasiluni improved from 47% to 89% and all the KPI’s measured showed a positive improvement.
“We see the availability of mobile services in this area and indeed other parts of the country that have been connected through this project, creating a ripple effect in other facets of the society, including health, agriculture and education services and also financial inclusion through the mobile money transfer services,” Mrs Wanjau added.
CA is targeting to construct more sites in five sub-location during phase two of the USF Project and one more site in the Kitui County under the Universal Service Obligation.