• They have not been able to make calls, which has had tremendous security and economic implications.
• They had been forced to trek for more than 20km to the nearest Ijara town, which has a communication mast.
Residents of the border town of Holugho have a reason to smile about as works to repair the communication mast destroyed by al Shabaab militants a year ago start.
They have not been able to make calls, which has had tremendous security and economic implications.
They had been forced to trek for more than 20km to the nearest Ijara town, which has a communication mast.
Those who spoke the Star could not hide their joy, saying that finally. they have a reason to celebrate.
Speaking on Monday after laying the foundation for the construction of the Safaricom mast at Hulugho police station, Ijara MP Sophia Abdi said it is set to be operational within the next two months.
She has been on the forefront in pushing Safaricom to restore the mast.
“On my behalf and on behalf of the great people of Hulugho and Ijara constituency, we are thankful particularly to our servicemen at Hulugho police station who have agreed to host and protect the mast,” the MP said.
“I further express utmost gratitude to Safaricom and urge the great people of Hulugho to own this initiative and protect it as their own. They have offered enough and they know how important such an equipment is,” she added.
Abdi Mohamed, a resident, said life has been extremely difficult for them as they could not make a call even when in an emergency.
“We have heard situations where one wants to call a taxi or an ambulance to come pick a sick person who needs to be rushed to hospital but then we cannot communicate. We have lost our loved ones,” he said.
Abdi added that lack of the mast has greatly compromised security since the militants can carry out attacks at will knowing the information will not get to the security officers to respond on time.
Mariam Hassan thanked Safaricom and the area MP for heeding to their plea to restore the network.
“We have suffered for a very long period. Life has been difficult here. At one point, we even thought of relocating to other areas because surely, how do you live in this day and age without communication network. You cannot send or withdrawn money,”Hassan said.
She said that once the mast is operation, they will "do everything humanly possible to make surely that it is protected".
The militants have in the past few years been targeting masts to cut off communication and proceed to attack the camps.
Safaricom has said has suffered huge loses running into millions in re-installing the masts whenever they are destroyed.
Edited by EKibii