Malawi: Zomba City in Solar Powered Street Light Project

A man stands near a raised solar panel and reservoir tanks used for irrigation at Chiswamafupa irrigation scheme, in the traditional authority of Mambo in Zomba district, eastern Malawi, July 11, 2018.

Zomba — Zomba City Council (ZCC) has become the first Council in the country to install solar powered street lights in a project that will see 261 street lights installed across the city.

In an interview on Monday in Zomba, Public Relations Officer (PRO) for ZCC, Mercy Chaluma, said the project aims to among other things help promote the use of green energy and reduce the pressure on hydroelectricity in which is in short supply in the country.

She dispelled people's fears that the solar lights would not beam enough light during the rainy season and winter seasons saying the solar panels which have been installed, store enough energy to produce powerful lights.

The PRO explained that the solar lights are expected to ease pressure on electricity bills on the part of the council.

Chaluma said the street lights would boost the city's economic activities since people would not leave their business premises early as was the case when there were no street lights but would continue with their businesses up until odd hours.

"The street light project will add beauty to the city and boost the city's security," she viewed.

The street lights are expected to cover the city's boundary along the M3 road from 4 miles to Chikupira.

The lights will cover the Flea Market Ring Road, which is under construction as well as Nkulichi Road up to State House.

Currently a third of the lights have already been installed under the project which is being implemented with funds from the Roads Fund Administration.

A businessman, Anderson Makoloni noted that the new development would benefit the residents of the city and would contribute towards their social economic growth since people would be able to run their businesses even during odd hours.

The lights, which are self-operational, will switch on automatically when darkness falls and switch off when the day breaks.

Currently, the council is has called on residents to own the street lights and prevent any vandalism from taking place.

A total of K287, 428, 523.00 has been pumped into the Zomba Street Light Project.

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