Mobile phone network challenges in Chikwawa worry chiefs

...say people travel long distance to use mobile money

Chiefs at Thelere in Chikwawa say mobile phone network challenges are negatively affecting the economic wellbeing of people in the area.

Speaking during an interview on Tuesday, Group Village Headman (GVH) Thelere said such is the case as people nowadays are relying mostly on mobile phone technologies to save their incomes as well as to send and receive their money which he said is not the case with people in the area due to the challenge.

He added that the network challenge in the area has also resulted to some healthcare providers as well as teachers abandoning the area thereby affecting crucial social service delivery.

Thelere Health Centre and in the other picture, people at Thelere primary schools

He further said that the network challenge in the area has always been the case since the coming in of mobile phone technology in the country hence he called for immediate intervention from relevant authorities on the matter.

“The problem of mobile phone communication has brought about so many challenges in this area. It has always been a challenge for us to be reached out and also for us to reach others using mobile phones.

“If we want to send or receive money we have to go to Nchalo or Ngabu which is a very long distance from here.

“People who are sent to work at our school and under five clinic always complain that they are failing to discharge their duties due to the problem.

“We therefore appeal for urgent assistance on the matter from relevant authorities”, Said Group Village Headman Thelere.

Headteacher for Thelere Primary School, Fungai Damison concurred with GVH Thelere’s remarks saying teachers at the school get transfers frequently due to the challenge.

Beatrice Mwalambo, Health Surveillance Assistant (HSA) for Thelere under Five Clinic also said that they fail to communicate with their authorities in time when faced with an emergency to be handled at a nearby established Health facility thereby affecting Maternal Health Service delivery in the area.

Commenting on the concerns, spokesperson for Malawi Communication Regulatory Authority (MACRA), Clara Mwafulirwa said phone network challenges in rural areas in the country shall be over as the Communication Regulator shall be subsidizing mobile phone operators in the country for them to be constructing mobile phone network towers in rural areas under a US funded project.