Buhera residents search for mobile network connectivity in fowl runs, toilets

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File picture of a mobile network base station

Admire Chatindo

Efforts to stay connected to the digital world remains a huge task for residents in Masasa area in Buhera who are forced to search for network connectivity in blair toilets and fowl runs due to mobile network challenges in the area.
Buhera Residents Network Trust coordinator Leonard Mabasa said Masasa Business Centre was a growing business place but had no network such that residents are forced to go to a toilet at one Medzai’s place where they are forced to endure the stench from the blair toilet as well as besides a fowl run and at a beerhall window to connect to Econet network.
“Making calls or sending text messages is hectic. The only tactic is to position yourself strategically because where do you get a strong network at Masasa? You go to a toilet at Medzai’s place and ignore the stench from the toilet or at one beer hall window to connect mobile network,” Mabasa said.
Funny enough, Mabasa said there was another place that was mainly used for Ecocash transactions near a football pitch or at a borehole that is near the business center while others go to a Baobab tree where there is a bus station.
“If one wants to make Ecocash transactions they usually have to go to the football pitch or near the borehole while some go to the bus stop and,” said Mabasa.
He said the network situation was so bad that it was affecting health clinic operations at Masasa Rural Health Centre as calls for emergencies cannot be done without hospital staff having to go out of the hospital to get a network connection.
“The network challenge is also affecting the health system referral path. For health staff members to make emergency calls for ambulance services they have to walk out of the clinic to access network.
“Mobile phone users in the morning and late in the evening are seen at Medzai’s fowl run to catch up on conversations for the day, check WhatsApp updates and to make phone calls at least twice in a day,” he said.
Mabasa also lamented that while social media takes over the rest of the world, residents in Masasa have resorted to using small phones called ‘kambudzi’ since they pick network better compared to smart phones.
“Online opportunities like Zoom meetings and Twitter spaces are hard to connect. Downloading 2.5 megabytes of content takes a lot of time and most people now prefer small phones to smartphones and we call upon responsible authorities to hear our plea and address the problem,” said Mabasa.

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