Update from Zitmast

We have been anxious about loosing our clients as a result of the disaster of the mast.

The man who constructed our last mast has refused to visit us since the event, anyway Ochuko has done a full study of the lapses of that construction which he sent to you.
After a lengthy search and consultations we have been able to find someone else, through one of our Board Members, to build a new mast for us. He gave us a bill of N1.2 Million. Other construction costs such as excavation, setting the foundation with concrete mix (sand, gravel, cement, transport, labour) was an additional N300,000.00. Cost of local government permit , N100,000. Total cost for the new tower is N1.6 Million = UKP7,200). The repair and reconstruction of damaged buildings of classroom and neighbour's home has cost us N105,000 (UKP470.00). Total cost of the damages (Mast + buildings) = UKP7,200 + UKP470.00 = UKP7,670.00.  ZittNet has applied for a loan for this sum at a low interest charge from the microfinance department for these constructions.

Our investigation showed that the damaged mast had two fundamental problems: 1. The galvanised pipes used were the Made In China low quality material, and the foundation for the mast was to shallow to withstand the wind speeds we experienced.  Yves, our French consultant has provided guidance on the construction of the new foundation, it is a concrete mix of 3cu.m, and 1.8m of the mast will be buried within the concrete foundation.

Construction for the base of the mast has been completed and that base has been fixed today (see fotos).

This unexpected expense of UKP7,670.00 is taking a big toll on  ZittNet's finances. We had just completed our budget forecast and started a new financial year with expectations that ZittNet will repay all its loans and break even this fiscal year. This disaster has set ZittNet back by at least another year. The cost of a new mast is something we have to find a way to cover because our primary source of income is from the wireless clients. Presently we allow our clients to come into the Knowledge Resource Center to carry out their daily business of registering students course application online and checking national examination results. The clients, our three cyber cafe owners have been  desperate to get the wireless service back because this is one of the seasons when they make most of their sales.

Once we can get the external network up and running we have to work out a compensation package for these clients for their loss of earnings for one month.

As usual, we have informed the insurance company both verbally and in writing, and they have come for a preliminary visit  to inspect and take pictures. However, if we are to go by their response to our last disaster, we are not likely to get much assistance from them until after one year. They have only just sent us the 50% compensation towards the cost of the lightening damage we suffered last year.

It is encouraging for us that you had Zittnet on the agenda of the last Dadamac meeting.  At this point, our most urgent assistance will be for financial support towards meeting the outstanding 50%  cost (USD 9,500) which the insurers would not honour from the lightening damage of last year and the cost of the new mast. and repair/recostruction works being done (UKP7,670.00). To be saddled with such staggering financial burden so early in the life of ZittNet has been a challenge we wished we didn't have to face at this time. Therefore any assistance which Dadamac may be able to facilitate through its networks will be most helpful.

We also think a short documentary of our recent experiences can be produced for sharing with the wider AWA audience in order to share the lessons we are learning from these major disasters.