Boarding the speed boat from Gizo, Western province we cruised through the beautiful islands while one of the directors was telling his stories us how he modified his boat.
It was an interesting and learning opportunity as we make our way to Ringgi cove in Kolombangora Island. Upon arriving at the KPL jetty two hilux were waiting for us for a short tour.
We drove to Our Telekom site and upon arrival we surprised to see two of our rigger staff up on the 45 meter tower transferring and installing equipment’s from the old 30 meters tower.
Looking up the tower one can just imagine how frighten it was for a person to be up there for hours.
As we look up the tower one of the directors asked who is on the very top of the tower; one of the staff replied saying that’s Emanuel.
As we were having a chat Emanuel Onaikeni who was on the very top on the tower came down, it was an unbelievable to see an elderly person like him to be up there on the 45 meter tower.
Emanuel who is now in his late 50s was working for Solomon Telekom for over 30 years now. He completed form 5 senior secondary educations at St Josephs (Tenaru) Secondary School in 1979 and did his electrical training thereafter before joining the PNT and then transition into what Solomon Telekom Company is to-date. He has 3 children whom they are now in tertiary education.
For Emanuel he said he loves his job; the vast experience he brings with him in the company brings a wealth of development excitement especially for rural and remote communities in connecting them with the outside world.
Asked how he felt when climbing towers he said as age going down feelings start to change especially when you were up there. He encourages young dedicated staff to take on from there.
Solomon Telekom is building more towers in the rural areas as we speak and it is not that easy one can imagine on how the riggers climbed the tower in a hot sunny day to make sure that communication is reach out to the unknown world.
These people need praise as they bring us close to friends and families through their hard work and dedication.
By Lawrence Nodua