Monday, July 18, 2011
Burundi, land of technological wonders
We haven’t had a landline since April 2010. At some point last year, Bujumbura’s local authorities decided to replace the water pipes in our area. As they dug them out, they left the telephone cables exposed for a couple of nights.
The copper cables must have been of great interest to someone and one night they mysteriously disappeared – probably during a well-rehearsed operation that either involved the local guards’ cooperation or found 45 of them to be asleep at the same time. Onatel, Burundi’s national telephone company, informed us that they did not have any replacement cables, and so for over a year an entire neighbourhood was deprived of landlines.
Last month, the government announced the privatisation of Onatel. Whether this is somehow related I don’t know but yesterday, somebody from the phone company walked into our house and reconnected us.
And as a reward for being faithful customers, gave us a top-of-the-range telephone that now proudly sits in our living room.