MARTIN MAWAYA

GWERU-Gweru residents have expressed joy to the local authority for the tower lights rehabilitation program in all the 18 wards of the city of progress which started recently.

Gweru City Council acquired 600 Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority compliant lighting LED units in an effort to lit the residential areas and improve safety for residents.

The local authority has targeted 77 tower lights and they have already done 36.

GCC Public Relations and Communications Officer, Vimbai Chingwaramusee told The Midweek Watch that “so far in all the 18 wards, we have installed 36 tower lights out of  the targeted  77. We acquired 600 lighting LED units at a costs of US$90 000”.

Under the ongoing exercise Council will replace the old existing bulbs with the ZERA compliant LED units.

Residents were for years left at the mercy of criminals who terrorize them during the evening as they take advantage of the darkness.

In an interview with the Midweek Watch, Florence Guzha from the Ebenezer Women Trust said  they “appreciate the rehabilitation of tower lights as an initiative to reduce incidences of criminal activities at night. The upgrading of public lighting will enhance crime prevention and improve public safety”.

Gweru Residents and Ratepayers Association (GRRA) Executive Director, Conlious Selipiwe said “the idea of rehabilitating tower lights is a noble idea as in some residential areas residents were being mugged by criminals taking advantage of the darkness. Therefore tower lights are good for security and it’s commendable”.

He however, differed on prioritising lighting over water availability on the taps which has been a big challenge for time immemorial.

“In terms of priorities currently it’s not making sense to say we have tower lights because there is always power outages hence they are likely to be white elephants. There is no need and no real drive to start with tower lights before fixing electricity challenges. Also, if we were going to list our things in order of priority we would have started with water because it’s the biggest challenge we have in this City,” he said.

Meanwhile, the local authority has 2600 street lights of which most of them are vandalized and have gone for more than 15 years without being repaired as some of them have gone past their shelf lives.

By Editor

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