The construction of solar-powered cell phone tower by MTN Ghana at Bonkro, a remote farming community in the Afram Plains South District of the Eastern Region has increased mobile phone penetration in the community.
About 70% of residents predominantly peasant farmers in this community currently use mobile phones for calls and mobile money transactions to enhance agribusiness in the community. However, the community has no electricity.
Residents trek on 20-kilometer deplorable road sometimes on motorbike to nearby town-Maame Krobo just to charge their mobile phones for a fee. Sometimes; generator is brought to the community to charge mobile phones of the residents for a fee which varies according to the type of phone one uses.
Health workers in the community similarly struggle to charge their tablets and Phones provided by the Ghana Health Service for data collection and report.
A solar panel previously used by the health workers to power their equipment has broken down close to five years now.
Jordan Yunbow Michael, Assemblymember for the area says there was no network coverage in the area which was huge challenge to the inhabitants, but since the erection of the Solar Tower, many residents are using mobile phones.
But he added that the biggest challenge now is the lack of electricity.
“We have been promised to be connected to the National Grid which some few electricity poles have been brought to the community for some months now but the work has not started, the reason, we don’t know.”
He said, Bonkro Electoral Area has a population of about 1,500 inhabitants in four communities under it but all sleep in darkness.
The lack of Electricity in the community is also affecting the teaching of Information Communication Technology.
Though the only Junior High school in the community does not have Computers, School Authorities believe the provision of electricity to the Community will give them the impetus to make a case for an ICT facility.