General News of Wed, 12 Dec 201810
Oku residents cry for help as top of mango tree becomes only spot they make, receive calls
Though a phone is a major means of getting help in an emergency situation at Oku in the Sekyere Afram Plains North District of the Ashanti Region, residents can only make calls, mostly, on top of a mango tree – with little guarantee.
Poor telecommunication network has been the bane of residents, constraining a number of activities there, TV3‘s Peter Quao Adattor observed when he visited the farming settlement.
Elsewhere, mobile phones are offering a wide range of opportunities, helping many with the key to transform their economy and way of life.
Today, mobile phones are being used to determine the weather pattern to be sure when to plant on the farms and which crop to plant or sow in a season.
Additionally, how to market farm produce to reduce post harvest losses among others are being made easy through mobile connectivity.
Yet, for the people of Oku in the Sekyere Afram Plains North, the luxury of being part of these benefits remains a misery.
You cannot make or receive calls whilst at home or on the go, Peter Quao Adattor found out.
One can only be connected to a network service at a designated area. For an improved connection, one has to climb a mango tree and even with that one has to shout at the top of one’s voice in order to be heard by the person on the other end.
Charging the mobile device is another challenge for people in the area not connected to the national grid. It costs GH¢1 to charge a mobile phone on solar-powered potable charging devices.
The alternate is to trek about 45 kilometers to Ejura to have phones charged. Charged mobile phones are only switched on when one intends making a call or expecting a call.
It is, therefore, the wish of residents of Oku to get urgent attention from the mobile network service providers to improve their services to also serve the basic needs of surrounding communities.
Ghana’s mobile phone subscription is expected to hit about 40 million in the next two years, according to the Jumia Annual Mobile Report 2018.
The report also revealed that Ghana is one of Africa’s largest mobile markets, with about 34.57 million subscribers and a penetration rate of 119 per cent, expected to reach 140 per cent in 2020.