MTC conducts community consultations for massive infrastructure investment
Staff Reporter Windhoek-MTC, the largest network operator in Namibia, has lined up a number of community consultations and engagement sessions as part of the company’s to-date its largest-ever single infrastructure investment program the 081Every1 project. The aim of the consultations is to solicit input and comments from the communities in areas, which are set to benefit from N$1 billion network expansion project. MTC considers the consultations as beneficial towards the input and deliverables of the project team, whose task is massive, seeing that the timeline extracted for this huge project is a total of 48 months commencing immediately after the announcement in July. Apart from input solicitations, said chief human capital and corporate affairs officer Tim Ekandjo, “preceding our announcement, naturally a project as huge and momentous as this one, to be a successful and historic one, will rely on the synergies we will create between the communities who are in no doubt our greatest assets in helping us identify… suitable sites to erect new network towers”. “We also taking this exercise as a note-sharing assignment in which we provide our expert and technical advice to the targeted communities in preparing them for all the likely benefits that will accrue from this development. “Drawing from lessons of the past, the major challenge we always had was the issue of land; the negotiations and leasing of land, but mostly the stumbling blocks have been the difficulty in convincing owners of land to allow MTC to put up infrastructure on their farms/lands. “We are mindful that as MTC we need to provide a fair compensation to landowners for the presence of our infrastructure on their land, but often some landowners are overtaken by greed and make unreasonable and difficult demands – which are to the detriment of the communities” as rthey make it harder for MTC to provide crucial services. “As recent as mid-September, MTC conducted site surveying in Okorukambe, Kalahari, Otjombinde, Otjinene and Epukiro constituencies in the Omaheke Region and our team was actively joined by the members of that community and the feedback has been positive and we hope this will replicate itself through the other areas we are yet to visit.” Ekandjo said consultation is necessary as “the community is crucial to MTC’s success,” hence it is important through the councillors to involve them “as we take on this undertaking geared towards the realisation of the country’s first ever 100 percent population network coverage”. Vice chief Kaunapu Gerson Katjariua of Otjiuaneho village, situated some 200 km northwest of Gobabis, is one of those that joined the cause to identify a site suitable to erect a tower in his village. He said due to poor network coverage in the area they are frequently forced to climb trees to make a call. Martha Longman, a resident of the Otjombundiro in Epukiro Constituency described the network experience in the village as “bad” and commended MTC’s plan to erect a tower in the area. “With a network tower we will be able to report accidents, crime, send emails, and WhatsApp messages to friends and families,” Longman enthused. The project commenced officially in July, and the first ground-breaking is scheduled for next month. The project will conclude in October 2019, with intermediate milestones to be assessed through regular monitoring and evaluations.
2017-09-25 10:17:13 1 years ago