During the last Madaraka day celebrations Nakuru County Governor Kinuthia Mbugua pointed out the provision of free WiFi services in the county as one of the successes of his government. He said that at the Afraha Stadium as he led the County for the celebrations.
As it is Afraha – the County’s largest public sports facility – is one of the spots the County government has identified as having the WiFi services. Now, when the Governor was making the announcement, he made it known to the public that the WiFi was available at the stadium even as he was talking about it.
That drew my attention and I decided to test it. Actually, I had tested the WiFi on my arrival for the function that day – that was about three hours before the Governor stood to speak – and it had failed. But I thought since the Governor had talked about it ‘officially’ there might have been a change of status.
With this faith, I tested it once more, almost the same time the Governor was making the announcement to celebrate the successful provision of the services and the gadget I was using – a Microsoft phone – was not connected.
I got disappointed. I felt it was not in order for the Governor to talk about it when his government had not confirmed about the availability of the services – at least on that particular day.
It is because of this that I propose the County government should come up with a status report of the project that was launched in early 2014. The report should explain if the initial intentions of the project were met and how the project is to be taken forward from where it is. It should also explain about the utility so far by the residents delving into which hot spots are frequently used to better gauge its efficiency and help in improving it.
I am very passionate about this project as I believe it could help in boosting online communication including access to information on the internet which is necessary for the growth of the economy. But I want to see it given the necessary attention.
So far the project is surrounded by a negative perception among locals that it was a hoax, partly because since it was launched, we have never been able to say with certainty where the services are available and how the locals are benefiting from it.
I am aware that recently that the Senate Committee on Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) visited the County to check on the status of the project. I hope that the committee made positive observations about it, and that they will come up with recommendations to improve it.
Governments start projects to improve on service delivery. But when those projects are not running the way they had been envisioned it should be prudent for the same governments to go back to the drawing board and come up with new plans and direction. This is what I feel a status report on this project can achieve if the Nakuru County government decides to develop and deliver one.