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By Nyemudzai Kakore
Harare City Council has started installing high mast lighting (tower lights) in residential suburbs to guarantee the safety of residents by increasing visibility at night.
At least 100 tower lights will be installed as the city’s corporate communications manager Mr Michael Chideme said contractors were already on the ground.
Mr Chideme said residents were urged to cooperate to enable timeous completion of the project.
Targeted residential areas include Rugare, Westlea, Kuwadzana Phase 3, Kuwadzana Extension, Dzivaresekwa, Cold Comfort, Crowborough South, Budiriro 3, Msasa Park, Mbare and Mabvuku.
“We are embarking on a programme to install tower lights so as to increase the visibility at night,” he said.
“It is part of our service delivery mandate to have a well-lit city to guarantee the safety of our citizens, especially women and children from mugging and rape.
Mr Chideme said they were also carrying out a city wide programme to repair solar tower lights which are not functioning in all suburbs to avoid congesting the national grid.
“We are also investing in a city wide solar project,” he said.
“The adoption of solar streetlights is a step in the right direction as we also try to reduce our carbon footprint as a local authority.
“Most modern cities have switched to using green energy, which is more sustainable and assists in lighting against the global environment phenomenon, climate change.”
Environment Management Committee chairperson Councillor Herbet Gomba said the programme will stretch to repair malfunctioning traffic lights.
The initiative comes after years of neglect and poor service delivery have turned Harare into a dark city, with streetlights either vandalised or not serviced.
In 2016, council embarked on a solar lights installation project, dubbed an environmentally-friendly initiative, in a bid to “light up the city in an affordable way”.
Ms Josephine Ncube, the then acting town clerk, said the project would be done in two phases, targeting the installation of 10 000 solar lights around the city.
Besides Airport Road, solar lights have also been installed along Robert Mugabe Road, Churchill Road, Borrowdale Road and Simon Muzenda Street, among others.