Patrick Bunyali Kamoyani,
P.O Box 16 – Vihiga 50310
12th Sep 2007
I come from a village where living conditions are very limited. These difficult conditions have made me try to search for alternatives using the little resource at hand. I come from Ingidi Village in Maragoli, Western Province of Kenya. This rural village has no electricity, no piped water, and no landline telephone, neither do we have tarmac roads.
I don’t come from a rich family, we don’t have a modern home with gigantic satellite dishes, electric power posts or telephone line cables crossing by. The point I am driving at is that:- ‘You do not necessarily need to be a millionaire to get in touch with the rest of the world’. With whatever little resources, you can bring hope to the less fortune.
To start with, my electric power supply is a motor vehicle battery connected to an inverter. The inverter steps up the 12volts to 240volts, an equivalent of a mains supply! I then connect a multiplug to the inverter so that my laptop, printer and mobile phone can get power. The battery drains off after about 4 or 5 days. I then get it charged at the nearby shopping centre and the cycle continues. I hope that one day I will get a solar panel.
We are lucky that local mobile phone service providers have coverage at my rural village. I do not require a satellite dish or landline telephone to set up my Internet connection. I simply use a dial up connection between my mobile phone and Laptop. I use Bluetooth technology and occasionally infrared. Bluetooth technology allows me to connect the mobile phone to a computer up to 10metres away. The bluetooth technology communicates using radiowaves, therefore the phone does not need to be in direct line of sight. But with infrared, the phone should point towards the infrared window of the laptop and not more than 1metre.
The Internet access is achieved by use of GPRS connection. The configurations from the ISP (my mobile phone service provider) are freely obtained from their sales office. You simply go to the control panel and access the Internet connections to configure the settings.
I am a prepaid customer to the mobile phone service provider. I buy scratch cards to get air time. The charges for packet data transmission are low. For example only Kshs.12 per Mb. I can browse the Internet, get information, attach my translated work and download more work for less than Kshs. 100. Previously I had to travel to town (Kisumu) some 35km away in search for Internet service. Transport to and from Kisumu would cost me Kshs. 200, the cybercafés were slow and charges are per minute. Every visit to a cybercafé would cost me Kshs.150 or even more depending on work that I downloaded or attached. Kshs. 150 for lunch or snack while away. If for instance I went to Kisumu three times in a week, I would require Kshs 500 per visit, i.e Kshs. 1,500. In a month kshs. 6000.
I am proud that I have solved the Internet costs. I have saved time and money Now with Kshs.1,000 I can comfortably enjoy the internet for a full month! also send text messages and make calls within that budget.
I wish you all the best as you grapple to bring hope to the world.
Patrick Bunyali Kamoyani