Public Access Point PAP established at Binga RDC Library

The recent Tonga.Online project review workshop which was carried out on the 23rd of September was coupled with the establishment of the new public access point (PAP) in the Binga RDC library. A workshop facilitated by Rupi Ruprechtsberger, an Austrian IT networking expert from Funkfeuer Linz, was carried out immediately after the review meeting. The opening of the PAP attracted an influx of users who needed assistance to get them started since news of the opening of the PAP spread like a veldt fire. As one user, Tendayi Ngundu pointed out in a posting to mulonga forum: "Now thanks to your project for bringing internet, i can now do my research, link up with the world and prove to the world that Binga District is not that backward after-all".

Thanks to the Binga Rural District Council / BRDC the Tonga.Online project has already been able to accommodate and offer its services at Binga Library as a central location in town (opposite the Binga Museum and Binga Craft Center). The recently welcomed consignment of hardware sent from Austria containing computers, flat screens and other components is a donation from Austrian Libraries, the Austrian Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Voest Alpine Intertrading. The project is now in a position to establish and run an IT Center which is easier accessible for the wider public and Tonga community. The owner Binga RDC has not only facilitated the importation of goods but has also pledged to provide for additional manpower to run the services at the library.

This PAP facility complements the existing library with electronic equipment to access information and provides also space and hardware for training and for the dissemination of information (like a beamer). Therefore Binga library is now enabled to serve the community as its true Parliament Constituency Information Center. The challenge for the project is to equip the PAP with the relevant information and to establish a routine of easy and open access for all. It will be crucial to make use of this modern information tools to collect, archive and disseminate local knowledge and create relevant content. In this regard the major functions of the Twiimbilane studio (currently based at Binga Highschool) and its media development should move to the library in order to encourage public usage and participation.

The PAP was opened immediately to the public after the workshop. Many people came to the PAP to:

1.Learn to use the computers
2.Learn to use the internet
3.To send and receive emails
4.For Facebook
5.To get some English literature commentaries
6.To play games
7.For Twitter
8.To send reports for organisations
9.For eBooks
10.For the Newspapers

PAP usage has been increasing since. Users got training on different challenges that they faced.

Internet to the PAP was shared from the G3 Modem. It’s amazing how sharing this device met the expectations of the majority of users. Generally users did not access high bandwidth websites except only for Face book.

Hotspot: A facility is now available at the Library where users can connect wirelessly to the Binga Library Network and connect to the internet or have access to available eBooks.

Management issues of the PAP were discussed by the Binga RDC S&T Subcommittee to establish recommendations that would be forwarded to the RDC for possible adoption.