The Department of Disaster Management Affairs (DoDMA) which falls under the Office of the President and Cabinet (OPC), has commended the Malawi Communications and Regulatory Authority (MACRA) for sourcing 24 Satellite StarLink Internet Kits from SpaceX a United States of America Company.
SpaceX is the world’s first and largest satellite constellation using a low Earth orbit to deliver the fastest broadband internet capable of supporting streaming, video calls and more.
The donated equipment is meant for reaching out to Cyclone Freddy victims in the severely impacted districts of Phalombe, Mulanje, Chikwawa, Nsanje, and Chiradzulu. DoDMA has also commended the Tony Blair Institute (TBI) which has partnered with MACRA in providing solar panels for internet gadgets and also for proving technical support to DoDMA in installing the solar panels and the internet gadgets.
Speaking during the handover ceremony on Tuesday, 23 May in Lilongwe, Director for Resilience and Recovery at DoDMA, Peter Lackson Chimangeni, highlighted the technological advancement, as a transformative step towards a more inclusive and connected future for the people of Malawi including those affected by the Cyclone Freddy.
“Let me express my gratitude to TBI and MACRA for your dedicated efforts in assisting and reaching out to the communities affected by the cyclone. We received kits from Starlink, but due to the lack of electricity, connectivity was not possible in most areas. TBI has stepped in to provide solutions through solar and enabling internet and connectivity even in areas without power,” said Chimangeni.
In his remarks, Daud Suleman who is Director General of MACRA said the donation of the Starlink kits and solar panels has unlocked essential services including education and health in the districts affected by Cyclone Freddy.
“This achievement showcases the power of collaboration and innovative solutions in bridging the digital divide and bringing opportunities to our communities. We extend our gratitude to all our partners for their invaluable support in this endeavour,” he added.
The project forms part of Cyclone Freddy’s response strategy which included identifying suitable sites, determining education and health platforms for deployment, and evaluating physical conditions, security, and connectivity potential.
The collaborative effort ensures not only reliable broadband internet access but also the provision of a sustainable power supply for the communities involved. – MBC Online Services.