Poor cellular network in Sissala West Constituency of the Upper West Region has forced the Member of Parliament, Hon. Mohammed Adams Sukparu to drag the Minister for Communication, Madam Ursula Owusu –Ekuful to parliament to explain steps being taken to improve mobile telephony reception in the area.
According to the MP, Hon Mohammed Adams Sukparu, residents of over 12 communities in the Sissala West District can not access telephone calls due to poor cellular network.
He thus, questioned the sector Minister on steps the government through the Communication Ministry is embarking on to improve the situation.
“Mr. Speaker, I rise to ask the Minister for Communications and Digitalisation what steps will be taken to improve mobile telephony reception in the following communities in the Sissala West Constituency: (i) Fatchu (ii) Duwie (iii) Zini (iv) Gbal (v) Kulpulma (vi) Bouti (vii) Kusali (viii) Kandia (ix) Kunkorku (x) Puzane (xi) Bukpal,” Hon Sukparu asked.
In response, the sector Minister, Madam Ursula Owusu said, the Ghana Investment Fund for Electronic Communication (GIFEC) has acquired lands for the Rural Telephony Project for eight of the affected communities in the Sissala West District.
The Communities, she mentioned include Dasima, Nyimeti, Kusali, Sorbelle, Bawiasibelle, Henyen-Gumo, Zini Clinic and Palawie-Wasai.
According to the sector Minister, GIFEC has already mounted network poles set for connectivity in Bawiasibelle, Nyimeti, Sorbelle, Kusali, and Dasima, nothing, “The rest of the communities have been scheduled for drive test simulation after technical review. “
In addition to that, she said, the MTN has also conducted analysis on some of the communities especially Fatchu, Duwei, Zini, Gbal, Kulpulma, Bouti, Kusali, Kandia, Kunkorku, Pusane and Bukpal townships but there are no immediate plans to connect those communities.
“Mr. Speaker, Vodafone has indicated that the Kusali town has been earmarked for connectivity for 2021. Mr. Speaker, AirtelTigo indicated that three (3) sites have been deployed in Sissala West with the provision of 2G and 3G services in Gwollu, Fiemuo and Buasane.”
“There is ongoing engagement between GIFEC and AirtelTigo for the deployment of 2G and 3G services at Fatchu, Duwei, Gbal, Bouti, Kusali and Kandia communities as part of the Rural telephony project in 2021 and also on the feasibility of deploying sites at Zini, Kulpulma, Kunkorku, Pusane and Bukpal,” she added.
But the MP lamented that he was not satisfied with the answers provided by the sector Minister on grounds that there was no timeline as to when the communities would be connected.
He explained that the poor cellular network in these communities has forced residents to climb on trees for hours for the reception to talk to their families and loves ones.
Hon Sukparu who sounded very passionate about the issue added that, due to the poor cellular network, residents sit outside for long hours at hill grounds or far from houses to catch mobile phone signals to talk to their friends and relatives.
“Because the residents of these communities do not want to disconnect with the rest of the world, so they have to walk far or climb on high grounds to catch signals, “Hon Sukparu told EXPRESSNEWSGHANA after he posed the question to the Communication Minister.
He however noted that, due to the unsatisfactory response, he would continue to knock at the doors of the Minister to ensure his constituents have access to mobile telephony.