11 August 2020
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Monday, 15 June 2020 09:01

Mbvunguti telecommunications tower prospects excite fishing communities

Written by  Kondwani Magombo

Mangochi, June 15, 2020: Excitement lingers on Mangochi’s three isolated fishing communities of Mbvunguti, Zambo and Chizale in Monkey Bay following the laying of a foundation stone for the construction of mobile telecommunications tower on Saturday.


The initiative, for the first time in the country’s 56 years of independence, connect to the world people from the three lakeshore fishing communities which are squeezed between the lake and a chain of mountains.


Minister of Information, Civic Education and Communication Technology, Mark Botomani, officially laid the foundation stone, saying the initiative is part of government’s Last Mile Rural Connectivity Project aimed at having rural areas across Malawi connected to telecommunication services.


Botomani said under the project, 136 mobile communication towers will be erected in rural areas across the country and that, so far, 28 towers have already been erected. 


“I’m very excited to be here today to lay the foundation stone for this very important development.


“This place has been neglected for long and people from this area have been deprived of communication to the world far too long,” said Botomani.


Botomani, who was accompanied by Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Kamlepo Kalua and Mangochi Monkey Bay parliamentarian, Ralph Jooma, urged people from the area to support the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Government and vote back President Peter Mutharika into power on June 23.


“People should realise that out of all governments, it is only President Mutharika’s that really has the welfare of people in rural areas at heart.


“I, therefore, urge you all to vote for Mutharika to continue enjoying such developments,” said Botomani.


Jooma, who is also Minister of Transport and Public Infrastructure, concurred with Botomani, saying President Mutharika is delivering everything that people of the three fishing communities on the shores of Lake Malawi asked for.


He said with no network in the area, it has always been a big challenge for the fishing communities on the lake to communicate with each other or their families back home in the event of adverse weather while on fishing excursions.


“Sometimes adverse weather forces fishermen working on the lake to dock on the other side of the lake in Makanjira and they cannot inform their families who keep waiting in despair. But with the connectivity, all will be well,” said Jooma.


He added: “I’m glad that Mutharika is delivering. During the 2019 campaign period, people here asked for three things namely; electricity, network and a public boat and we’ve already embarked on the first two already.”


Currently, Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (ESCOM) has already mounted electricity poles all the way from Monkey Bay to Mbvunguti, ready to get the area electrified.


Jooma said government will also buy a public boat to ease transportation challenge as people from the fishing villages rely on Monkey Bay for most of their daily needs.


Like all the other towers under the Last Mile Rural Connectivity, the Mbvunguti Tower will be constructed by Huawei Malawi which, according the company’s Deputy Managing Director, Titus Tasosa, will be between 55 metres and 60 metres tall.


Tasosa said the tower will solely cater for the three fishing areas of Mbvunguti, Chizale and Zambo, adding that there will be no shooting to other areas.