KNA Nyandarua county government has launched free public Wi-Fi points across the county to help residents’ better use technology.
Governor Francis Kimemia said the move would ensure Nyandarua achieves a fast, reliable, efficient and affordable ICT network to enable rapid access to information vital for economic and educational development in the county.
He said that the initiative is a tool of empowerment for the youth and residents, as they would use the free wireless connection to carry out their work.
“As the world continues embracing modernity, ICT has become a key cog in that wheel and Nyandarua cannot afford to be left behind,” he said.
Kimemia noted that the connectivity would come in handy to also enable them access online Government services, research, working and attending virtual classes.
“Many of the youths are already making a living online and I believe with the provision of this free Wi-Fi, more youths are set to benefit. I also urge our youths to use the free Wi-Fi to improve their lives,” he said.
He added that they had also put safety measures to ensure that data was safe from cyber-attacks.
“ICT Directorate has implemented a Firewall to protect the County data and Systems from access and attack by people outside the network. The County has implemented a domain to ensure users can securely store their files and documents in the County servers without the fear of being accessed by unauthorized people,” he added.
The county boss added that his administration had put resource centers in vocational institutions used for the Ajira Training programme where more than 130 youths have successfully completed their courses.
County commissioner Benson Leparmorijo warned people against vandalizing the gadgets put in place to help them.
“We have people who always look out for a way to bring down the developments we see in our areas. I warn all those with ill motives about this initiative. Action will be taken against all those who will be caught tampering with the installed gadgets,” he noted.
Among the hotspots centers opened are Njabini Youth Centre, Engineer Stadium, Wakirogo Stadium, Ol’Kalou Youth Empowerment Centre, OlJororok Stadium, Ritaya Primary School, and Ndaragwa Stadium.
The residents will use the password nyandarua2021! to access the internet.
Amos Wainaina one of the beneficiaries said the free internet would help him connect freely with his friends across the world. “I have old friends who migrated to the States. I wish I could talk to them regularly, but the cost of communicating is expensive. I am excited that this will be a thing of the past since I can even see them using video calls,” he says.
“We hope that this internet will have security since it is going to be a public thing which means the risk is also higher. We would also like it to last for a long time with a high speed,” added Wainaina.
Students studying and living in these areas say their research work would also be made easier since they would have adequate online materials to research from.
“This will bring a sense of relief to us. We spend a lot doing online research. Free internet means we are going to do more research and spend less. We are going to do more assignments and our termly targets will be meet on time,” noted Nancy Wangechi one of the medical students in the area.
Peter Mwangi, one of the residents criticized the activity claiming that citizens were facing hard economic times and what they needed was school fees for their school-going children more than they needed the WI-FI.
“This is a time to think how our children’s school fees will be paid, but not how much internet we need. It is even more difficult for those of us with school fees balance and children joining the school for the first time. I can hardly think of how much internet I need when my children are not comfortable,” Mwangi lamented.
This launch comes a few months after Francis Kimemia pleaded with the Ministry of ICT Innovation and Youth Affairs Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru and Safaricom to provide fibre optic cables and better network services for mobile phones, radio, and television networks.