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Relief for border residents connected on mobile network

Esther Chepokorio milks her goats at Masol area, West Pokot County. [Irissheel Shanzu, Standard]

Masol residents in West Pokot County can now access a mobile network courtesy of the Universal Service Fund (USF).

The area situated along the West Pokot and Turkana border was left behind by mobile companies because of the low population and poverty.

Lakapi Depamuk, 35, a resident of Akiriamet village in Masol said he could now communicate easily with people in far places after the roll out of the mobile network.

“I can now make calls in a valley or by river without any hitch. I don’t need to climb trees or hills any more,” he said.

He added that the move has helped a lot in tracing stolen livestock and during attacks by bandits from the neighbouring communities.

“We used to send people to deliver information but now it is easy to call and inform people in places like Kainuk and Sigor and action can be taken on time,” Depamuk said.

Residents say they can now call a health worker when someone is sick or when an expectant mother goes into labour.

"Now, I have a number for my doctor whom I call in case of an emergency,” notes Agnes Cherapuo.

Paul Kiege, an assistant director in the Universal Service Fund in the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA), said they have put up network connectivity in 19 sub-locations in phase one.

He said the authority's main role is to fix gaps in communication adding that it is meant to help in ensuring that every part of the country is connected.