BUJUMBURA, June 23 (Xinhua) -- China-aided digital satellite television project beneficiaries and technicians trained in the maintenance of the infrastructure in Burundi have highly welcomed the project, saying it allows less favored households in rural areas to have access to the services of information.
The positive messages expressed in interviews were collected recently in Bujumbura, the commercial capital of Burundi, on the sidelines of a handover ceremony for the China-aided project that will allow Burundian people to have access to national television information and programs and boost universal access to the right to information.
"This project is seen in Kirundo province, northern Burundi, as a miracle. It highly succeeded," said Albert Hatungimana, governor of the province of Kirundo, who participated in the handover ceremony.
According to him, the situation for remotest villages close to Rwanda where Burundian radio and television stations could not be followed before has now changed, said Hatungimana, adding that the Burundi National Television programs, as well as other international television channels, can now be viewed thanks to the project.
Hatungimana, who was one of the governors of Burundi's provinces who attended the event, indicated that previously residents in some of Kirundo areas were viewing Rwandan television stations or Rwandan radio stations instead, and were therefore losing several benefits of being Burundian citizens.
"Some were little by little forgetting the national language (Kirundi). But now, they follow news and programs on the national television," said Hatungimana.
According to him, as a specific example, people living in Kumana village in the zone of Nyagisozi in Busoni district in the province of Kirundo near Lake Rweru now follow news and programs on Burundi's national television.
"This is very important because they follow messages of the head of state, which was not the case before. This means that peace and security will be strengthened more than before," said Hatungimana.
The governor of Kirundo requested the Chinese government to boost access to digital television in other areas of the province that still do not have access to digital television services by granting them technical kits and technicians.
Speaking on behalf of the 40 trained technicians, Dieudonne Niyonkuru, a teacher at the basic school of Maramvya in Mutimbuzi district in the province of Bujumbura, said the training was very profitable to them.
"We had a two-month training session from Jan. 5 to March 5 this year. We were taught the maintenance of digital television equipment. We are very grateful," said Niyonkuru.
He specifically thanked the Burundian and the Chinese governments for jointly organizing that training session, calling for more training sessions to further their skills, and training sessions for other Burundian youth in the sector of digital radio and television.
During the ceremony, Burundian Communication, Information Technology and Media Minister Leocadie Ndacayisaba commended China for granting more of the East African nation's rural population access to digital satellite television.
"The project aims to popularize digital television in all corners of the country (Burundi) and to help poor households have access to the national and international television programs," said Ndacayisaba.
Two hundred villages would be connected to the digital television system in the second phase of the project with the donation of 190,000 sets of decoders and accessories from China. This has come after 300 other villages had been connected to digital television in the country by October 2018 through the project's first phase. ■