Kenya: Mast Signals Arrival of Phone Network in Isiolo Village

20 September 2020

Residents of Bassa in Isiolo County have a reason to smile following the commencement of the installation of a communications mast in the area that has been grappling with poor telephone network coverage.

The mast, belonging to leading mobile service provider Safaricom, is expected to help boost development in the area and enable residents to access mobile money services and business opportunities.

Governor Mohamed Kuti said the Safaricom booster will be key in improving health, education and security in the remote area that has been lagging behind in development.

"The mast will improve internet and phone connectivity and young people should take advantage and start setting up businesses," Isiolo Communications Coordinator Hussein Salesa said.

The residents have been walking for many kilometres to get network connection on their cell phones. But their woes are further worsened by the fact that they have to climb trees to get their phones to connect to the network.

Emergencies

At the same time, the poor network forces residents to travel for long distances to report incidents that happen in their area as they cannot call security agencies by telephone from the comfort of their homes.

"It has been challenging to deal with emergencies as we have to walk for long distances to access tall trees and call for assistance," said resident, Mr Adan Guyo.

Mr Salesa said the mast will help in reducing maternal and infant mortality as mothers will now be able to access ambulance services easily.

The residents, when faced with emergencies, have been sending bodaboda riders to report and make phone calls to concerned authorities.

"We are appealing to the county government to provide us with incentives for enabling business environment," said Ms Fatuma Dido.

The project has, however, widened the rift between Governor Kuti and Isiolo Senator Fatuma Dullo as both claim to have lobbied for it.

Their supporters have for the past two weeks been engaged in an online argument over the matter.

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