I writing without knowing – really – when I’ll be able to publish. For two of the last three days this part of the province has been without any form of telecommunications (fixed line, mobile and internet). Today was a total “blackout”. The only word from the outside world came from satellite television.

 

The girl in the place where I try to connect to the net said “Niassa: we’re at the end of the world.” (The same girl had the most hilarious polyphonic ring, a Brazilian voice screaming “GEEEEEEEEEeeeenteeee!!”)

Paradoxically, at the same time when the largest operator of mobiles is able to expand the network to nearly the whole province, even areas without electricity using solar panels, they start to have serious problems with the fiberoptic line that carries all communications.

I just saw on the provinicial TV news that the line was cut between Mandimba (only the Malawian border) and Cuamba, the largest city in the south of the province. It would be easy to steal the cable and sell it in Malawi from there. Or could it be some kind of sabotage, given that the whole north of the province including the capital city loses communications?

I came here with illusions of encouraging farmers I work with here to blog. But in this environment, it’s not a priority. What becomes priority is just maintaining minimum communications – through written notes, house visits and messages sent via minibus. I cannot even imagine the impact this kind of cut has on business.

I confess it’s even difficult for me to motive myself to blog given this sensation of total isolation.

In an attempt to be positive, it’s worth saying that I discovered today by word of mouth that there are at least two blogs from Niassa province. When I have greater access to the net, I will share the links.