Nguruman residents and part of the larger olkiramatian location spend their weekend without mobile network connection as the only safaricom network mask was not functional. This has been a recurring occurrence and has affected communication and business transactions with M-pesa agents and their customers counting losses since some people depended on mobile banking to buy fresh produce for sale in other parts of the county and in major towns.
"Majority of businesses involving mobile banking takes place over the weekend and this has affected our business... All M-pesa services are down and we can not buy farm produce for the mondays kiserian market" said one tomato crop vendor.
Another community member who was expecting a visitor cursed the inconvenience caused since he couldn't communicate at all.
"The network is very weak and makes us spend a lot of time on internet while sending attachments on e-mail or even when blogging. It takes a lot of time to upload a compressed picture.... it will be great if we get 3G network...." said David Meitamei, a Maarifa centre user.
This has been a recurring occurrence and despite being reported to the service provider severally no attempts has been seen in bid to address the issue.
Sometimes last one week stakeholders working around Nguruman held a discussion at Nguruman Maarifa centre, a meeting that sought way forward regarding recurring network issues at Olkiramatian location. Chaired by Joel Njonjo, a Researcher at African conservation centre (ACC), an agreement was arrived at to follow up the issue with safaricom staff who had visited the area and confirmed their full support on the issue.
|Safaricom network mask at Ngomongo with technicians aboard. Photo by Samuel Nzioka|
Some of the issues raised by the stakeholders included delays in response to emergencies due to poor network, delayed transactions, slow internet connection thus delayed response to official matters and other areas completely not having coverage.
It is presumed that, the situation may improve as there is a commendable improvement within the last 24 hours.