WINDHOEK, Sept. 25 – Mobile Telecommunications Limited (MTC), has lined up a number of community consultations and engagement sessions as part of the company’s largest ever single infrastructure investment program: the 081Every1 project.
These consultations aim to solicit input and comments from the communities in areas, which are set to benefit from the N$1 billion network expansion project.
MTC considers communities as beneficial towards the input and deliverables of the project team, whose tasks is ensuring that the time-line extracted for the huge project is a total of 48 months commencing immediately after the announcement in July.
Apart from input solicitation, Chief Human Capital and Corporate Affairs Officer Tim Ekandjo added that, “preceding our announcement, naturally a project as huge and momentous as this one, to be a successful and historic one, will rely on the synergies we will create between the communities whom are in no doubt our greatest assets in helping us identify suitable communities in identifying suitable sites to erect new network towers”.
“We also taking this exercise as a note sharing assignment in which we provide our expert and technical advice to the targeted communities in preparing them for all the likely benefits that will accrue from this development,” he added.
He also said that from lessons of the past, the major challenge was the issue of land, “the negotiations and leasing of land, but mostly the stumbling blocks have been the difficulty in convincing owners of land to allow MTC to put up infrastructure on their farms/lands.
“We are mindful that as MTC we need to provide a fair compensation to land owners for the presence of our infrastructure on their land, but often some land owners are overtaken by greed and make unreasonable and difficult demands – which are to the detriment of the communities and quite obviously presents MTC the inability to provide a crucial service because of this.”
He said that in mid-September, MTC had conducted site surveying in Okorukambe, Kalahari, Otjombinde, Otjinene and Epukiro constituencies in the Omaheke region, and
members of that community were active, and the feedback has been positive.
Vice Chief Kaunapu Gerson Katjariua of the Otjiuaneho village, situated almost 200km northwest of Gobabis, is one of those that joined the cause to identify a site suitable to erect a tower in his village. He recounted that due to poor network coverage in the area, they are frequently forced to climb up on trees to make calls.
Martha Longman, a resident of the Otjombundiro, Epukiro constituency, described the network experience in the village as bad before she commended MTC’s plan to erect a tower for them.
“With a network tower we will be able to report accidents, crime, send emails, and WhatsApp messages to friends and families,” enthused Longman.
The project commenced officially in July, and the first ground breaking is scheduled for next month. The project will end in October 2019. – NDN Staffer