081Every1 faces land challenges

26 September 2018 | Local News

The 081Every1 project, which aims to establish about 524 MTC network sites nationwide, is facing challenges in terms of acquiring land.

The project is a N$1.2 billion project and was officially launched in July 2017.

It aims to have 100% of the population covered, in order to facilitate development through information and communication technology-driven programmes.

The project is expected to bridge inequality gaps in Namibian communities.

MTC appointed over 40 Namibian companies, as contracting partners in the project, which aims to construct over 500 new towers in mainly rural Namibia.

However, the project is faced with challenges in terms of acquiring land to set up the towers.

MTC spokesman John Ekongo told Ewi lyaNooli that getting land from traditional authorities and farmers is proving challenging.

“The whole process of acquiring land is a problem, especially with the traditional authorities and farm owners. These people are asking a lot of money from us, without knowing that these are national projects aimed at benefiting every citizen,” Ekongo said.

“With the traditional authorities there are not even tittle deeds to the land, but they are asking a lot of money. Let the process be smooth, so we can fast-track the project.”

Ekongo said money has already been made available and the companies are ready to do the work, but they being delayed by the land owners.

MTC chief human capital and corporate affairs officer, Tim Ekandjo, said in a press statement that 17 different companies have been appointed to be responsible for the supply, delivery and installation of base transmitter stations (BTS), while 19 other companies have been tasked with the supply of solar, grid and lithium-type batteries and infrastructure that will be needed to complete the construction of the 524 new towers across the country.

In addition, MTC has also appointed six companies that will be responsible for tower loading analysis services (TLAS). These six are also wholly-owned Namibian companies.

“These tasks are to ensure that these vital components are readily available for the project stream, as the project forges full steam ahead in the weeks to come.

“Through technology and innovation, this project will help change the way people live, work and communicate, providing an important platform for sustainable growth and development,” Ekandjo said.

“The 081Every1 project will be a catalyst for change to accelerate the development of rural areas in the country. In a nutshell, this is a truly significant Namibian project and we are therefore humbly proud and satisfied that we have vested Namibian companies to participate in this project, in line with our procurement policy that seeks to empower Namibians.”

ILENI NANDJATO

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