In a bid to reduce costs on lighting up Kampala City, the Chinese government on Friday handed more than 98 solar street lamps it has installed in different sections of the city to the management of Kampala City Council Authority (KCCA).The solar street lamp project was financed off a $800,000 (Shs2b) donation from the Chinese government, and has been implemented by Huawei Technologies Company.KCCA Executive Director Jennifer Musisi said the lights had been set up on the Kabaka Njagala, Nsambya, Mbogo and Usafi Taxi Park roads.“The street lamps were installed where new roads are being constructed,” Ms Musisi said at the handover ceremony at Kampala Serena Hotel.
stronCost cuttingstronKampala minister Frank Tumwebaze commended the donation saying it would help the Authority save more. “This solar lighting system will help us cut the power bills and save more,” said Mr Tumwebaze. Ms Musisi also noted that this funding from the Chinese could not have been better timed as the city authorities continue to grapple with high electricity bill. urrently, the national electricity distributor Umeme charges Shs48 per Kwh for street lighting, said the KCCA boss. “Solar lighting has become one of our flagship innovation projects. It shows our resilience as a city during these tough economic times,” she said.The Chinese Ambassador to Uganda, Mr Zhao Yali, noted that the solar lamps are a green solution with zero carbon emission and are a step towards better preservation of the environment.He announced that the Chinese government will be providing more aid towards infrastructural development to Uganda.“This financial year, we are providing a $26m (Shs67b) grant to the country plus $47m(Shs122b) in interest-free loans for the development of infrastructure across the country and within the city,” he said.The ambassador also said that China was planning to construct a vocational centre at Namanve to help in improving technical skills of Ugandans.
stronSafety concernsstronThe project engineer, Mr Eric Kimaze, cited several vulnerabilities with the new lamps, especially with the batteries and solar being too exposed to theft.“We are hoping that the people of Kampala will look after these solar lamps because they are here for their benefit,” cautioned Mr Peter Kauju, the public relations officer of KCCA.
SOURCE: Daily Monitor