Shabaab Attacks Cripple Phone Services In Parts Of Garissa

Residents of Hullugho in Garissa County along the border with Somalia have said that a poor communication network has made their lives difficult for many years now.

The situation has been made worse by constant attacks by suspected Al-Shabaab militants who destroy communication masts put up by mobile service providers.

Hullugho is situated 18 kilometres from the Kenya-Somalia border. Residents say their daily lives have literally been turned upside down as they are forced to trek for miles to make telephone calls. They are also forced to travel to other towns to use mobile money transfer services.

The lucky and youthful ones scale up trees to get better network on their mobile phones.

“Lack of communication has thrown us ten years back. All sectors including education, health and business are affected. There is an urgent need for the restoration of network coverage,” Mohamed Samriye told Daily Nation in Ijara.

The former civic leader told Nation that many people have closed business thus affecting the local economy. He added that communication is a basic need that every developing country should prioritise on.

Mr Samriye said all elected leaders starting with the President should ensure the restoration of network coverage in the area, noting that lack of it will contribute to underdevelopment.

“We need local leaders to come down to the areas affected by lack of network coverage so that they know the dilemma their electorates are facing,” he added.

The Nation could count numerous M-Pesa shops and vegetables stalls that have been closed down following the destruction of communication masts, with residents saying they depend on mobile network coverage for their business.

The Somali-based militants have destroyed several communication mast along the Kenya-Somalia border leaving residents of Hulugho, Fafi, Ijara, Sangailu and some parts of Dadaab in desperation. Two weeks ago, the militants damaged a Safaricom mast in Hamey, Dadaab.

Source: Daily Nation