THE City of Harare has embarked on a smart street-lighting pilot project covering 35km of the capital city’s major road network.

“The project covers Airport Road, Seke Road, Julius Nyerere Way, the stretch of Samora Machel between Rekai Tangwena and Enterprise, Seventh Street and Chancellor Avenue up to Churchill,” council spokesperson Innocent Ruwende told source yesterday.

“It falls under the smart partnerships between the governments of Zimbabwe and Rwanda. The project is already underway and these lights will be electrically powered.” 

In a statement, City of Harare acting head of mechanical and electrical engineering, Calvin Chigariro said the project was being carried out in partnership with Zesa and Rwanda Energy Group and will see 1 202 street lights being installed throughout the major road network in the city.

“Revamping will include removal of the old existing cables and refurbishment of the old street lighting poles. The poles we are putting up are not new, they have always been on the road, but we have refurbished and repainted them,” Chigariro said.

“As part of the project, we are going to install a back office with a management system that monitors the performance of street lights. The smartec solution also allows us to put in security cameras so that we are able to view what happens on the roads from the same system once we have commissioned it.”

Harare Residents Trust co-ordinator Precious Shumba said the street-lighting project was long overdue.

“Street lighting has remained a major challenge that needs to be sorted out and the viability depends on the sincerity of the partners and the responsibility of the citizens in safeguarding the public infrastructure,” Shumba said.

Combined Harare Residents Association acting director Reuben Akili urged the local authority to also consider other areas which have not benefited from pilot projects.

“Some areas have benefited from solar projects before and have failed, so this is an indication that consultations should be made on efficient management so that we don’t implement projects that will fail along the way, forcing the local authority to reinvest and becoming difficult to fund,” Akili said.

Source Newsday