The government has identified 2,175 villages to be connected to telecommunication services through the Universal Communications Access Fund (UCAF), Communications, Science and Technology Deputy Minister January Mkamba told the National Assembly here yesterday
He was responding to a basic question by Faith Mitambo (Liwale, CCM) who wanted to know when the government will install the planned nine communication towers in Liwale district.
He said that the government through UCAF announced tenders for the earlier projects which would help the government to get correct information on the cost of connecting various areas to the service.
He said unfortunately the tender was not successful because the bidder demanded more money than the amount set aside for the tender.
Makamba who is also Bumbuli Member of Parliament said currently the government is reviewing the entire system of connecting various areas in the country to telecommunication services to speed up the exercise.
“We have identified 2,175 villages which lack the service. In four weeks to come we will know the cost of connecting each village,” he said.
He said the government has secured 45bn/- from the World Bank for implementing the programme.
Makamba said the funds are not sufficient, but that the government will raise money to support the programme.
“We are going to open tenders in September this year and if everything goes well many communication towers will be installed in various areas which lack communication including areas in Liwale District,” he said.
In another basic question a Member of Parliament for Kilombero Abdul Mteketa (CCM) had wanted to know when areas of Msagati and Uchilinde Kimboni will be connected to communication services.
Responding Makamba said that the areas were difficult for telecommunication companies to install towers but that UCAF would subsidise the companies so that they can reach the areas.
He said the government had commissioned a consultant to go to the areas which have no communications to assess implementation of the programme.