Zambezi information technology divide to be improved

25 Jul 2015 11:40am
KATIMA MULILO, 25 JUL (NAMPA) – Communication and information infrastructure within the Zambezi Region will soon be upgraded and improved to be accessible to all in the region.
The announcement of the upgrade and improvement of all Internet, television, radio, telephone and mobile phone networks and coverage was made by Information and Communication Technology Minister, Tjekero Tweya during his courtesy call to Zambezi Regional Governor, Lawrence Sampofu here on Friday.
The promise followed after Sampofu and regional councillors bemoaned the lack of enough reception towers to provide adequate communication services, television and radio reception at areas in Katima Mulilo, Zambezi West, Impalila Island, Linyanti, Kongola and Sibbinda.
“Information is power and also a fundamental right; this is why we as leaders have to do everything possible to make sure everyone enjoys it.
“Gadgets such a smart phones, televisions and radios are no longer a luxury but a necessity, as these tools have become essential for people to share information,” Tweya said.
He added that statistics within the ministry indicate that communication and technology coverage in the country stands at 70 per cent, of which a large percentage is concentrated in urban areas, while the rural parts are neglected.
Tweya then requested all councillors of the constituencies of Sibbinda, Kongola, Linyanti, Kabbe North and South, Katima Mulilo Urban and Katima Mulilo Rural to establish how many reception towers are situated in their areas and to also indicate parts that are not covered.
Tweya gave the councillors two weeks to gather the information and submit it to the Office of the Governor as well as Chief Regional Officer of Zambezi, Regina Ndopu-Lubinda.
“I want to establish where the 30 per cent of people not accessing information or communication in the country are living.
“It is only then that I can examine the access and usage of information or challenges, before finding a way to address the divide gap,” the minister said.
During the meeting, Sampofu used the platform to also highlight to Tweya that the Katima Mulilo Hospital faces a shortage of nurses and doctors while still utilising poor infrastructure which is affecting the delivery of quality health care to a population of over 90 000 people.
Sampofu further requested that the institution be upgraded to a hospital that can conduct serious surgical and specialised services, instead of referring its patients over 520 kilometres to Rundu in the Kavango East Region.
“The hospital is faced with a number of challenges such as the critical need of new x-ray machines, nurses and doctors.
“The fact that the hospital still refers its patients so far away is another issue that needs to be addressed too, and we are concerned of road accidents in which ambulances are involved,” he said.
Sampofu also called on Government to implement green-scheme projects in the region to help address food security in the country.