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City solar street lights too dim

By Vision Reporter

Added 21st July 2007 03:00 AM

KAMPALA City Council’s wind and solar-powered street lights that broke down soon after installation have been fixed but are still too dim.

By Patrick Jaramogi

KAMPALA City Council’s wind and solar-powered street lights that broke down soon after installation have been fixed but are still too dim.

David Lukwago, the director of WinAfrique Uganda, the company that handled the deal, said last week: “The bulbs were not suitable for the units. We have since received the new LED bulbs from China and shall have the lights fixed and they will be functional 101%.”
The 23 units installed on Entebbe Road broke down hardly a month after being commissioned by mayor Nasser Ntege Sebaggala in April.

But despite the arrival of the ‘right’ bulbs, the stretch between Entebbe Road junction and Shoprite is still in partial darkness because the lights are too dim for the streets. A walk along the stretch by this reporter on Monday night found no trace of light.

A WinAfrique technician, whom The New Vision learnt was flown in from Nairobi to fix the new bulbs, was speechless. “I came in over the weekend from Nairobi to help fix these lights and I am optimistic we shall solve it pretty soon,” he said.
He described the failure to rectify the problem as a “technical hitch.”

The blotched sh180m project was intended, according to Sebaggala, to rid the city of dark spots synonymous with crime before CHOGM due in November.
The New Vision has learnt that following the failure by WinAfrique to rectify the mess, KCC has opened bids for the privatisation of all street lights.
WinAfrique was initially granted the contract to manage the street lights.
KCC spokesman Simon Muhumuza said it was expensive to maintain the street lights. “Council lacks funds.”

He said sh1b was needed to maintain street lights annually, money which he said was impossible to get.
KCC spends about sh90m monthly on electricity bills.

Compared to other forms of energy, wind energy is clean, renewable and would mitigate the greenhouse effect if used to replace electricity derived from fossil fuels.

City solar street lights too dim

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