The last few weeks saw the end of the first semester at the University where I lecture. There was a mini recess which usually means that the University closes down and the vacations start.
I was however fortunate enough to have a Professor in my School that got some funding to set-up a community network in Northern Namibia. The basic idea behind this network is that it is build by the people for the people with the knowledge and tutelage of networks experts and facilitators.
All in all the setup took many months of planning and many others of strategising how all will be done. The first week saw us travel from the capital Windhoek to Eenhana. Eenhana is the capital of the Ohangwena Region. The Ohangwena Region has the highest concentration of the Namibian Population (Well at least most of the people come from there).
Being that the population of Namibia is only about 2.3 Million people, it is characterised with development inequalities. This is not a new phenomenon as sparsely populated countries tend to have a center where all the developmental activities take place. The Ohangwena region is no different from the picture painted above. This means that there is a big disparity between the well of the no so fortunate. However, the CONNECTING EENHANA project mains to bridge one of the issues that plague the Region. The Internet of Things aims to connect as many people as possible. The aim is that there is a school of thought that argues that having access to information can have a great effect on the number of people that can come out of poverty.
The idea of a community network in not unique to Namibia but a philosophy and practice that has been rolled out in other parts of the world. The first week dealt with collecting needs and potential uses by the local community. Parallel to that, there was a technical team that dealt with scouting for locations that would be optimal locations for placing base stations for the placement of the routers that would connect the many nodes.
A further note will be made on a later update.