The Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) has during a Kikao Kikuu forum held in Embu, urged parents and other guardians to monitor the content their children consumer online, especially during the ongoing long holidays.

This is with a view to stopping the consumption of any harmful content. In a response to this, the authority has availed online and physical Children Online Protection materials that could assist parents and guardians guarantee the safety of children online.

The authority also indicated that they had noted an noted an escalation of cyber-threats and incidents in the country. During the quarter ending on 30th June 2019, the Authority’s National Cyber-security Centre detected 26.6 million cyber-threat events compared to 11.3million incidents recorded in the previous quarter.

During the forum which had a theme of “ICT as enabler of opportunities”, farmers and cooperative societies were urged to embrace and integrate ICT in their activities. It was noted that coopeartives can utilize IT to for instance digitize  their records  to enable them  keep farmers’ data secure for longer, retrieve it easily, greatly save time and also enable them make decisions faster.

Farmers can also use based applications to receive useful information including weather patterns, pest control, farming techniques, and regular market access information for their produce. Also, ICTs can help farmers keep simple records like the type of soil in their farms, litres of milk sold, crop or animal diseases and quantity of produce harvested, among others.

Embu County has coverage of 2G and 3G mobile communications services, which stand at 99.8 and 88.2 per cent respectively. However, there are some areas that have poor network coverage mostly due to mountainous terrains and foliage cover. However, the authority indicated that they are engaging network operators with a view of addressing these challenges.

The authority also indicated that they  had launched a voice infrastructure project through which  has connected 68 sub-locations to mobile communications services across the country. The initiative has seen about 290,000 people who until recently only dreamt of making a call through the mobile phone, enjoy basic voice and data services. They also shared that 10 more sites are at different stages of implementation, with a view of scaling the same to ensure that all areas  that still experience challenges of connectivity are adequately covered.

Under the universal service initiatives, the authority has so far  connected 887 secondary schools, 26 of which are in Embu County. With their ultimate goal being to reach out to all the over 8,000 public secondary schools in Kenya.

Embu County Governor Martin Wambora, had this to say, “We are proud that that the availability of ICT services is enriching the lives of our people in many profound ways. The Internet, for instance, has provided numerous opportunities for our people to acquire knowledge and to improve their lot. We see various sectors of the local economy, including agriculture, Small and Medium Enterprises, and health heavily relying on ICTs for growth.”