Victoria Falls gets new street lights

The Chronicle

Leonard Ncube in Victoria Falls

THE Victoria Falls City Council City Council (VFCC) has started installing solar powered street lights as the local authority intensifies the implementation of the green city concept.

The resort city, besides being the only city in Matabeleland North, does not have street lights or traffic lights even in the central business district (CBD).

Workmen working on site to install solar powered streetlights

The old street lights that used to be along Livingstone Way were vandalised years back while thieves stole solar panels and solar batteries from those that were installed by CBZ when the financial institution implemented a housing project in 2016.

The city entered into a US$3 million partnership deal with a private company, Satewave Technologies to install solar streetlights under a build-operate-transfer arrangement, among other projects.

The first phase saw Satewave Technologies putting up bus stops fitted with solar charging booths and green environment recycling bins at strategic points around the city.

Satewave Technologies will put up more than 100 solar street lights along Livingstone Way and some selected roads in Low Density suburb, VFCC Town Clerk Mr Ronnie Dube said.

A news crew observed that work had already started at some points where the poles will be put along the road have been dug.

Workmen working on site to install solar powered streetlights

Mr Dube said the new street lights will be taller and batteries mounted at the top to prevent vandalism, and appealed to residents to jealously guard the street lights as their own property.

“We are putting up over 100 solar street lights along Livingstone Way which is our main road and some other selected streets in the low-density area.

“This project started in 2018 and was disturbed by Covid-19. This current phase is worth US$150 000 and we expect to complete this phase before the rains start,” said Mr Dube.

He said the partnership entails that Satewave Technologies will install the street lights and have maintenance team stationed in Victoria Falls to monitor the property.

Satewave Technologies will pull out after two years.

The company is getting advertising space in return.

“This is a drive towards the green city initiative where we want to create a smart city. We also encourage people to go towards the smart city concept,” said Mr Dube.

Workmen working on site to install solar powered streetlights

He said the council opted for solar powered lights because the renewable energy is relatively cheaper than the grid electricity because after installation is done the council will be left to cater for maintenance costs alone.

Mr Dube appealed to members of the community to desist from vandalising the street lights and avoid a repeat of the CBZ stands and BC848 scenario.

“Instead of only focusing on the negatives, we appeal to our residents to look into good things done by the council so that we all take responsibility of the city,” added Mr Dube.

The project will be a relief for residents who have constantly complained about lack of safety because of absence of street lights.

Some residents have been attacked by wild animals while walking along dark streets.


Article Source: The Chronicle

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