Huawei repairs Kampala’s Solar street lights

By Omondi Julius Odera, Kampala, Uganda

Huawei has reached an agreement with Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) to complete the repair and maintenance of solar streets lights in a move aimed at lighting the city without incurring exorbitant power costs.

The maintenance works on the solar street lights in Kampala is expected to be completed before the end of July 2015.  The announcement from Huawei on the ongoing work comes behind media reports that reported of KCCA’s intention of pulling the lights down due to quality issues. However, the two entities have confirmed that the reporting was out of proportion and Huawei further confirmed that maintenance works is in line with the existing warranty that they offered while erecting the lights.

“Our maintenance works are part of the extended warranty period to KCCA to enable us address the solar street lights diligently,” noted Stanley Chyn, the managing director of Huawei Uganda.

The solar street lights were officially handed over to Kampala Capital City Authority on 18th July 2014 through a donation by the Government of the Republic of China. The donation was a result of notes signed by the Government of the republic of China and Government of Uganda in 2012 on the initiation of the solar street demonstration project aiding Uganda. The project is estimated tohave been financed at a cost of USh2b donation from the Chinese government.

The 98 lights were installed by Huawei Technologies Uganda Co. Ltd along Kabaka anjagala road, Usafi Car Park, Nsambya road, Mbogo road and state house close. With a letter dated 9th July, 2015 to Kampala Capital City Authority, Huawei confirmed that the street lights shall be installed with new batteries with works set to be complete by 29th July, 2015.

“Maintenance works began two months back with a trouble shooting process, we have already started replacing the lights with new batteries which are being monitored everyday from 7:15pm to 5:00am”, said  Chyn.

Approximately 50 lights’ batteries shall be installed in the ongoing maintenance works by Huawei Technologies Uganda co.ltd.

According to a study done by International Renewable Energy titled Lighting Up Streets, well-functioning public lighting improves a city’s quality of life. “It contributes to an increased sense of safety, prevents crime and allows for longer use of public spaces for recreational and economic activities,” noted the report. The report further noted that Public lighting also significantly contributes to a city’s energy consumption. The report therefore encourages the use of efficient energy saving techniques to light up public places and streets validating KCCA’s adoption of solar street lighting.

“The use of RE and EE measures in public street lighting provide opportunities to reduce energy demand, harvest financial savings from reduced electricity use and reduce related GHG emissions. RE solutions can be an easy option for providing lighting in areas that do not have an electricity infrastructure. This can be especially relevant in rapidly urbanising areas or in under-developed areas of a city,” noted the report.

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