UGANDAN CAPITAL TO SWITCH ALL FACILITIES TO SOLAR POWER

By Juliet Waiswa & Taddeo Bwambale

KAMPALA, June 20– The Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) is to switch all its facilities to solar power in a bid to save on energy, says its Executive Director, Jennifer Musisi.

She disclosed this in a presentation to the Technical Experts Meeting on Urban Environment, held on the sidelines of the UN Climate Change Conference in Bonn, Germany, recently. The meeting attracted experts from cities across the world to share experiences on how their activities address climate change.

Tokyo, Lima, Bogota and Kampala showcased their innovations at the meeting, which was also attended by delegates from several agencies, including UN Habitant, Global Environment Facility and Green Climate Finance.

Musisi told delegates that the installation of solar-powered street lights along newly reconstructed roads was one of KCCA’s climate-resilient projects and over the next five years, KCCA planned to nstall up to 20,000 solar stands in the city. Solar-powered street lights have been installed along a number of roads in Kampala.

In its 2012/13 budget, the KCCA allocated 1.28 billion shillings (about 500,000 US dollars) for revamping the street lighting system in the Central Business District (CDB) and paying for electricity bills. During the period, a total of 1.24 billion shillings was spent on installing over 2,700 street lights in the city, repairing non-functional lights, and paying all electricity bills.

By switching to solar, the KCCA will save about 600 million shillings every year on electricity bills for street lighting alone, the Authority’s spokesperson, Robert Kalumba, told New Vision on Thursday. A total of 1.24 billion shillings was spent on installing over 2,700 street lights in the city, repairing non-functional lights, and paying all electricity bills in 2012/13.

Musisi revealed that negotiations were ongoing with private sector players to provide additional solar-powered street lights, in exchange for street pole advertising rights.

She said other climate resilient projects included the the construction of the Lubigi channel to control flooding in city suburbs, and electricity generation from a landfill site, turning solid waste into a power source.

The KCCA has supplied Eco-stoves which use volcanic stones to 200 women who cook food for sale at one of the KCCA markets, in a bid to reduce use of charcoal and cutting of trees.

On initiatives in mass public transport in Kampala, Musisi disclosed that the KCCA was also encouraging the use of buses instead of mini-buses and motorcycles.

The KCCA is finalising plans to introduce a Bus Rapid Transport (BRT) system to be financed through a concessional loan, with the operations managed by a private company.

She pledged that the Authority would incorporate climate change responsive aspects in all infrastructure project designs.

Musisi also told New Vision that a great deal of interest in Kampala’s achievements was generated at the conference, particularly in revenue management and solid waste management. Several international institutions pledged their support to KCCA to implement climate-responsive projects.

SOURCE: NEW VISION

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