Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Kampala Capital City Authority-KCCA is negotiating with the French Development Agency (AFD) for shillings 3 billion (800.000 Euros) to implement the Kampala street lighting master plan project.
In his end of year message, the Kampala City Lord Mayor, Erias Lukwago, says with this funding KCCA intends to install approximately 35,000 smart street poles with a 75 percent off grid (solar) and 25 percent on grid (UMEME) model come 2020.
“Its major priority is to improve security, mobility conditions and facilitate development of the economy,” said Lukwago.
KCCA conducted a feasibility study with AFD to determine the need for lighting in Kampala. Harriet Mulondo, the Director of Gender and Community Development KCCA told URN in a phone interview that following the study, they have established a need to install lights on more streets in the central business district, markets, major walk ways like Nakivubo blue and Namirembe road among others.
This project has an extended component that involves extending lights beyond streets into the communities, she added. Mudondo says they will install lights in informal settlements in Kampala to provide safety and increase productivity of city dwellers leaving and working in areas like slums.
“With lighting, there is one common aspect and that is safety. Whether you are in a market or at home, lighting means safety and that’s why when we put lights at home we call them security lights. But also the lights mean increased productivity. Instead of using traditional lamps for lighting, vendors in different communities will have sufficient light. This will help them work for longer hours yet in a safer environment due to the lighting” said Mudondo.
During the 16 days of Activism against gender based violence earlier this month, divisional mayors called upon KCCA to extend lighting to communities in order to curb crime and make them safer for business.
This followed a visit to different divisions identifying places that were harboring criminals. Apart from bars, lodges and cinema halls, some unlit dark spots were identified as being lucrative sites for criminal gangs.
The team identified some of the dark spots in Kampala central division as Kifumbira zone in Kamwokya and Kagugube in Wandegeya. Kisenyi 2, areas around Nakivubo channel, Kajja at the old taxi park and Mini price among others. Komugisha says KCCA should install lights in all these areas and improve the physical planning too.
In Nakawa division, areas of Mu’Kisenyi, Obama’s place, Opio’s Place and one area known as B133 were identified while in Makindye division patel zone in Kabalaga, Kisuggu and Kasanvu zone were named.
Mudondo says that with more lighting, KCCA will be able to reduce crime in the city and make it safer for people to conduct their business.
In the last three years, KCCA has installed over 1500 solar lights along streets in Kampala.