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Access to e-books eased with Last Mile wireless connectivity

Learning and access to e-books at the Nakuru based Kenya National Library Services (KNLS) will further be eased with the installation of wireless connectivity, that targets more public service points.

Through the Last Mile County Connectivity Project (LMCCP), the facility that accommodates hundreds of learners each day and especially the school holidays will also enable online jobs seekers to increase their daily earnings, with the reduced downtime.

With the up to 900 Mbps wireless connectivity, coupled with installation of backup batteries, the facility will be able to enjoy eight hours of connectivity long after power outages, making it more reliable than the current connection that goes off immediately power is disconnected.

“We have selected a number of facilities including the Library that offer citizen facing services to benefit from the Phase IV of the LMCCP in a bid to address the gaps that were noticed with the installation of the Local Area Network (LAN) that is also idle in some places,” said ICT Director James Sirori, noting that the installations will take three weeks to complete.

The programme that will also reach the Regional Commissioners office that hosts the busy Immigration Office, the Kenya News Agency offices, the County and Prisons, is expected to enhance service delivery for the offices that offer direct contact services to members of the public.

“The Wireless connectivity that will afford the users free for use services, is also expected to expedite justice delivery for inmates at the Nakuru Main and Women Prisons through the eased online court sessions,” added Sorori.

Soulco Contractors Representative, Engineer Wesley Too, noted that the civil works will be done in two weeks to the six selected areas including some county government offices, with configuration and commissioning slated for the third week of October.

“We call upon the various beneficiary institutions to allow us access their premises for eased installation as we promise excellent services to the institutions and the public,” said Too.

The Belgium Government funded programme targets to cover 23 counties including Elgeyo marakwet, Baringo and Wajir with the wireless connectivity, with plans underway to rollout Phase V that will reach more counties and sub county offices.

In Nakuru free WIFI services under the project have been connected to the Main Wakulima Market and installations at the open-to-the-public Nyayo and Lions gardens are at an advanced stage.

“With internet connectivity, it is now easy to reach my customers for new merchandise. I don’t need to call them but through my social media platforms, I display my wares and get bookings, while the customers pay through mobile money for delivery,” said David Kariuki, a shoe trader, adjacent to Wakulima market.

Onyango Oloo, too, lauds the government project, noting that at the comfort of his market space, he gets to sample vegetables and other wares from various parts of the country before he makes orders.

“I easily connect with farmers supplying me with arrow roots, bananas and traditional vegetables especially from Western and Nyanza region, before I settle on who supplies and at what price. It is safer to know what kind of luggage you are expecting because most farmers ask for partial payment before they release their cargo,” noted Onyango Oloo.

Other areas where the public can access free Wi-Fi include Bahati market and Free area, with the government targeting to launch 25, 000 such places across the country.

The government also targets to have at least one digital hub for every ward as a way of encouraging e-commerce, with the digital superhighway expected to make strides in health, agriculture, MSME and finance, while easing revenue collection.

By Anne Sabuni

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