THE City of Harare has embarked on a massive smart street lighting project which is aimed at revamping the city’s lighting infrastructure.
The pilot project which is going to cover 35 kilometres of the city’s major road network is being carried out in partnership with Zesa and Rwanda Energy Group.
The project will see 1202 street lights being installed, throughout the major road networks 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 on are not new they have always been on the road but we have refurbished and repainted them,” said the city’s acting head of mechanical and electrical engineering Engineer Calvin Chigariro.
“As part of the project we are going to install a back office with a management system that monitors performance of the street lights.
“We will be able to control the switching on, the lighting levels and the deeming of the lights from our back office.”
He went on to say the system enables the monitoring of performance and power consumption adding that if there are faults or anything untoward of like vandalism, the system picks it up simultaneously as it happens in real time from the back office.
“The smartec solution also allows us to put in security cameras so that we are able to view what happens in the roads from the same system once we have commissioned it. The project covers Airport Road, Seke Road, Julius Nyerere, the stretch of Samora between Rekai Tangwena and Enterprise, Seventh Street and Chancellor Avenue up to Churchill.”
The pilot project will also cover Rekai Tangwena, Bishop Gaul and Ganges Road.
Zesa is pre-financing the project and City of Harare will pay fully for the project once it has been completed and given the nod.
The project falls under the smart partnerships agreement between the Republic of Zimbabwe and the Republic of Rwanda.
“Our aim is to ensure that once we have completed this project we make our neighbourhood safer, our road better trafficable and we are extending our people to stay out late, our restaurants to stay out late there by providing opportunities of business to operate for longer period.
Presenting his State of the City Address last week, Harare Mayor Councillor Jacob Mafume said the safety of citizens remained the municipality’s number one priority.
“We are mindful of the need to have functional streetlights in our low-density areas and high master tower lights in all our high-density areas.
“We managed to maintain 68 percent of the city public lights (high master tower lights). Not much has been done on streetlights but our target is to install 1000 LED lights along our roads to improve citizen safety.
“On high master tower Lights, we managed to resuscitate seven tower lights, maintained 102 tower lights in all our high-density areas. Before the end of the year, 40 new high master towers will be connected.
“The areas to have new high master towers are Rugare, Msasa Park, Cold Comfort and Crowborough South.
“Your City is aware of your plight on the non-functionality of some high master towers and your concern on the bill paid to ZETDC (Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company) for public lighting.
“We are engaging ZETDC on this issue so that we reach a common ground on how best to manage public lighting,” said Cllr Mafume. — City of Harare/Suburban Reporter