"Use of solar power units is the way to go"
16 July 2012
This opinion piece by Godfrey Chitalu, talks about adapting to solar power in Zambian towns and villages, which lacks access to conventional electricity. According to him cell phone companies should invest in renewable energy sources, which involves use of solar power units. This could go a long way in alleviating problems encountered by rural cell phone subscribers.
When I met 30-year-old Pythius Lubinda at Bina Business Centre (BBC) in the heart of Mumbwa town, little did I suspect that he had once walked 30 km just to come and charge his newly acquired mobile phone.
"Few months ago, excited by my new gadget, I was disturbed when the battery suddenly went flat. My village mates advised me to go to town and have it charged at ZK2,000. That is how I embarked on an unforgettable 60 km return trip on foot"
For town dwellers with access to electricity, this might sound quite unrealistic but not so for Lubinda. Buoyed by community members, an encouraging wife and zeal associated with owning a new phone, the trip became a necessity.
"What is good about a dead phone? He asked in apparent reference to what prompted the walk.
As we chatted at BBC, people kept trooping in to check on their phones, each clutching a red tag. The centre, also a busy newspaper selling point, has devised a phone identification system to reduce customers picking wrong phones.
To read the whole column, click here