Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Orange-Telkom's 'service'....

Since last Saturday, I could not go online suddenly using the Orange live-box, for some reason best known to it and my computer. So, I started calling all the numbers that I possess for help, but, nobody was answering their phones for some reason.

Eventually, I got through to Mr. Njenga from the town office who told me that he was off and not in his office, but, if I smsed him my 'bb' number, etc., he would try and help me. I could not get the helpline number '121' from my wireless phone and have subsequently discovered that I can only dial this number from my 'landline'. Nobody can explain to me why this is, so.

Coming back to my predicament of not being able to go online was suddenly solved soon after I sent Mr. Njenga the required numbers. Thinking that my problem had been solved, I merrily went on with my work and ignored the ref. number, 57900, that I was sent via sms by Mr. Njenga.

On Sunday my problems started again. But, earlier in the day, we had an outage and when a guy from the Nairobi office called to help me with the connection, I was not only not at home but, the power was also out. He promised to call me again between 3.00 pm and 4.00 pm. But, this being Kenya, where hardly anybody keeps their word, he did not call at all.

On Monday, I tried connecting, again, to no avail. Again, I had a truly difficult time getting anybody in the local Orange offices to pick up their phones. In desperation I called Nairobi and somebody answered but, I gathered from their numerous responses that they did not have the foggiest idea about any technical issues regarding their live-box.

Finally, I tried calling that 121 number from my landline where an computer responded and eventually got through to a human. She told me that my earlier reference number had been cancelled and so she gave me another one - 58098 - and that somebody from the Mombasa office would contact me shortly.

Well, nobody did and I had to make further numerous calls to the 121 number and told to wait an interminable time by the computer voice, before I would finally get through to a human who would tell me to keep waiting for a local feedback since their technicians were defeated in trying to solve the problem from their computers. It seemed that somebody would have to come to my place to deal with the problem. And since it was past 5.00 pm it was too late for anybody to show up, yesterday.

Now, since I'd been complaining about the connection since Saturday, one would imagine that Orange would not have such a lackadaisical attitude, but, I keep forgetting that we live in a banana republic where none of these 'officials' have any respect for time or keeping their word or thinking of calling in the event they are held up or can't make it.

Today, having got fed up of the computer voice telling me that it would take more than 5 minutes before a human would come on the line, I decided to go and do my urgent shopping all the way at Nakumatt Nyali where the Orange offices are and see them, too.

There I was assured that these techies were around the Nyali area and would come and fix my connection before leaving to go into town. Well, they finally did in the afternoon when I got back home. But, now, everytime we have an outage and the power comes back, I get problems with going online till I reboot my computer and disconnect/reconnect the live-box to get back on.

Before this happened on Saturday (I don't know why), everytime we had an outage and the power came back on (I have a Sollatek device), I never had to reboot, etc., and I could continue with my work. Now, suddenly, I have this added time consuming one. Can somebody explain this and help me sort it out, please? Also, do I get a rebate for this?

68th, 69th & 70th outage......

Since last Sunday (I have not been in town for a couple of weeks before then as well as I am quite tired and fed up of keeping up the counts and which is what most of our unaccountable and shameless officialdom want us to be - get completely exhausted and finally give up our fight for justice and service), KPLC has again provoked me into continuing.

Therefore, while the count is only the 70th, in actual fact, it would have passed 100 most likely.

So, to come back to Sunday. Early in the morning at just before 6.30 am, we were treated to an outage and this time it involved the whole of Mombasa including interestingly their (KPLC's), emergency offices. When I was told this by them when I rang, I guiltily felt little compassion for them and I am sure most people would not. In fact, they would think, 'good, now let them have a taste of their own incompetence!' That day, our power in Nyali did not come back till nearly three and a half hours later. We still haven't had an explanation from them about what happened. Just the usual standard reply that there was a problem at Kipevu.

Subsequently, we had two outages today. One in the morning at about 9.00 am when the power came back soon after I called them and the other in the afternoon when it took a lot longer in showing up, again. Both times, Kipevu was again blamed with no details.

Also, soon after these two outages, we had a couple of nasty (they always are), fluctuations which caused our Sollatek devices to switch all our electronic and electric gadgets off till the power stabilized.

Now, this is equally irritating, time-consuming and disastrous not to mention extremely infuriating. Why does this happens so often? Coupled with outages they are truly messing up our lives and equipment.

Then, people are trying to eradicate poverty! What an irony! In fact, such a faulty system and infrastructure causes more poverty than eradicating it.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Crucial to life...

I've written so much about this life giving fluid over the years yet it is a never ending issue in my country and the world at large.

While our government, in the hope of bringing service to the people, has given birth to countless water bodies, these simply eat up vital resources and do not improve anything.

Just a couple of days ago, I was invited to attend a public forum by the Water Action Group (WAG), in my hometown, Mombasa, but, not everybody was represented since many did not even know of this meeting.

Then, all the various outfits, like the Water Company, Water Board, Water Resources Management Authority, Water Trust Fund, etc., got up to tell us whom we should see for whatever problem we might have. Example whom we should see for a water meter problem or an accounting problem, etc.

Now, most of us are thoroughly fed up with all these outfits that we have to deal with because none of them are accountable to the people, yet, they are paid hefty salaries to do their supposed jobs. There is too much bureaucracy involved in solving simple problems and wastage of precious time and money, something that these water outfits were created to save the average citizen, in the first place.

Anyway, there is a lot of unregulated or corruptly allowed water management in this town which none of the above mentioned 'organizations' want to hear about since they are the ones who were instrumental in all this happening.

Sometimes, I wonder if all my emails and blogs have any effect on the people concerned. It is like banging one's head against a brick wall!

And when we read all over that we should give up the bottled water habit, this is the ONLY water that we can be safely drunk in most developing countries since their governments have not put in place structures to make safe drinking water available to all. So, if we were to give up the bottled water habit, how would we survive? Drinking what kind of water?