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…residents say teachers, students affected
Since March this year, the WIFI internet service provided to the residents of the Deep South Rupununi village of Maruranau via the e-Gov network has been unserviceable , forcing parents to ride for several miles to nearby villages to access the service with their children in tow.
At the same time, residents of the remote village believe that the authorities may be deliberately ignoring their pleas since the villagers voted predominantly for the Opposition at last year’s general and regional elections.
“The students and the teachers are the ones mostly affected,” a concerned resident told the Village Voice News on Thursday and according to her several parents have complained that the issue is straining them financially since they are forced to hire motorbikes to take their children as far as Aishalton to get access to the internet.
Both secondary school and primary school students have been impacted negatively by the absence of the service.
Reports are that several government ministers visited Maruranau since the breakdown in the vital communication link late in March and parents voiced their concerns to the government officials at the time. But while promises were made to remedy the situation, nothing has been done.
The village benefits from the service which is provided via a transmission service located at Aishalton, some 35 miles away.
The government has been promoting the Rupununi region as a tourist destination for locals and overseas visitors and Maruranau has been included in plans for inclusion in a proposed tourism circuit. In March this year , Tourism Minister Oneidge Walrond presented the idea with the village mentioned as a beneficiary of the project which targets three areas of the country.
But residents of the small village noted last week that many persons who depend on tourism and other economic activities such the wildlife trade, are also affected by the lack of internet service.
The Wapihsana village lies some 98 miles from Lethem and has a population of approximately 1000 persons.
At last year’s elections , Maruranau was one of a few villages within the region which threw it support behind the APNU+AFC administration. Since then a new village council has been elected and residents have welcomed the government’s plans to assist in the development of the village.