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Safaricom chief executive Bob Collymore says the company continues to suffer huge losses due to vandalism of its telecommunication masts in northern Kenya.
Mr Collymore said six telecommunication masts have been destroyed in different parts of Mandera, Garissa and other counties on the Kenya-Somalia border in terrorist attacks in the last few months.
Earlier on Monday morning, suspected Al-Shabaab militants destroyed a Safaricom mast at Dabacity in Elwak. In June, another mast was destroyed at Damasa. The damage forced security officers to use Hormud, a Somalia communication network.
« It is a huge cost and risk in running these networks because a single cell phone tower can cost $250,000. But most importantly, when they are destroyed, there is loss of communication with the locals and that is a big deal, » Mr Collymore said.
He spoke in Meru during a tour of the Meru Dairy Cooperative Society milk factory.
Mr collymore said there has been a lot of pressure to build the communication masts in the most marginalised and insecure parts of the country.
« What a lot of people don’t understand is the security pressure we come across. It makes it very challenging to ensure our customers in these areas continue to use communication.
« We work with security agencies to help restore services because of the insecurity. We are mindful of the challenges they face, » he said.