VSAT Communications Project


One of the main problems experienced in Africa is the scarcity of modern communications. Many villagers would never see a newspaper and much communication is by word of mouth. The hospital had an old computer but access to the internet for medical purposes was not possible for the one Doctor. We took the first steps in 2005. Since then, although we still have problems, much has been achieved. The pictures below show the Mission Hospital Receiving Antennae being erected.


The installation is virtually complete. Lubwe High School, the Youth Skills Training Centre, the Doctor’s house, the Sisters’ House and the Mission Hospital are for the first time connected to the Internet and the outside world.The Skills Centre picture shows the Satellite Receiving Dish and tall Omni Directional Antennae which distributes the signal to the other locations in the area, the High School being the farthest away.

Although a large project to set up, the actual usage cost is no greater than the single satellite modem we installed to receive and send email, just to provide a connection to Sister Rosemary's laptop at the Sisters' House  in Sept 2005.

They still have much to learn about computers. Whereas the Doctor will have used them at university, most of the villagers will never have seen one before. It is planned to start teaching computer skills to small classes of young people soon at the Skills Centre. For me it is amazing just to exchange emails with the people we have been helping for the last few years. Their gratitude and excitement is an inspiration. The access to medical resources around the world and the opportunity for training and learning for the next generation is there.

For the first time, they can look at their village on Google Earth.

If you would like to try it go to or search for Google Earth.
When opened type LUBWE LUAPULA in the Fly to box and click Search. Use the – (minus) slider to zoom out until you see the very big lake (not the small one you first see) and you will find the Mission Hospital on the lake edge – it is an E shape (Hospital coordinates are 11° 07’10.60 S 29°38’46.60 E).

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