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West Pokot set for mobile network connectivity

The Government plans to spend at least Ksh 148 million from the Universal Service Fund (USF) to improve mobile network connectivity   in West Pokot County.

The plans were revealed when officials from the Ministry of Information, Communication and Digital Economy toured the county to map out ways of improving communication infrastructure after more than sh148.6 million for the exercise.

The team  led by the Principal Administrative Secretary  Ministry of Information, Communication and the Digital Economy(PAS) Erick kiraithe also included senior officials from the Communication Authority of Kenya who earmarked seven sub locations for the exercise including Chepkoriong, Parua, Kale, Kokwopsis, Nyarkulian, Kamelei and Tapach during the phase three (3) mobile network connectivity project.

He said the new phase comes after two sub-locations in West Pokot County, namely Chepserum and Apuke were connected to the mobile network in phase one, at a cost of Sh9 million.

During the phase two of the exercise the officials revealed that 14 sub locations including Kiwawa, Kases, Kola, Lotukum, Kaptolomwo, Ompolion, Kachawa, Akiriamet, Amaler, meshau, Emboasis, Kokwoptorit, Marus, and Pkopogh were wired to mobile network.

The Authority regularly undertakes surveys with a view to recommend priority areas in the implementation of Fund and in 2016 a survey was conducted, followed by another in 2021.

During the survey, the government identified specific sub-locations in West Pokot for phase one, phase two and phase three that need to be connected with mobile network.

West Pokot County serves as a crucial gateway to the northern part of the country and also shares a border with Uganda, making it an important international county.

David Boen, the Deputy County Commissioner of Pokot South Sub County, highlighted that a productive meeting took place between officials from CA, Deputy County Commissioners, Assistant County Commissioners, Area Chiefs, and Ward Administrators with a discussion focused on ensuring the smooth implementation of CA’s programs and uninterrupted installation of communication boosters in targeted areas, while also encouraging community support for the projects.

DCC Boen highlighted that during the meeting, they devised a plan on how CA would visit certain locations within the county to engage in public participation with the local community, who would benefit from CA services.

He emphasized that the National Government Administrative Officers (NGAO) have the responsibility to provide support to all national government entities, ministries, departments, and agencies in carrying out their respective mandates.

‘‘AO plays a crucial role in engaging the community to garner support for the programs implemented on the ground,’’ DCC Boen said.

He further mentioned that NGAO is also responsible for ensuring the security of communication masks and boosters, regardless of whether they are located on public or private land.

DCC Boen thanked the CA for implementation of USF for education broadband connectivity project enabling schools including St Elizabeth Girls Morpus, St Theresa’s Tartar Gilrs, Kapenguri Boys, St Cecilia Chepareria among other schools within the county to have their performance improved.

He strongly encouraged the authorities in CA to ensure that the remote and insecure areas within the county, which currently lack mobile network coverage, are connected noting that it will greatly enhance security measures and significantly improve the quality of life for the local population.

By Anthony Melly and Erickson Kiprotich

 

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