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Hwange installs solar-powered street lights

by Kamangeni Phiri
21 Apr 2016 at 04:19hrs | Views
THE Hwange Local Board is installing solar-powered street lights and tower lights as the town pushes for municipal status.

Town Secretary Ndumiso Mdlalose said the solar lights project, which is part of a cost-containment programme, started on Tuesday.

"We've partnered Gate Hill Enterprises and Solar for Zimbabwe for the street project. The teams are already on site. We're starting with 100 lights for the pilot project. This could be the first such project in the country. The project will be introduced in Baobab and Chibondo Suburbs before taking it to other suburbs," he said.

Mdlalose said the 100 solar street-light project will cost the local authority $300,000. Besides Baobab and Chibondo suburbs, Hwange Local Board administers Baobab North, a medium density suburb, Empumalanga Phase One up to Four, a high-density suburb and Don Bosco, a new residential project.

Mdlalose said the solar project will culminate in the local authority phasing out all Zesa powered street lights.

Hwange is a coal-rich district with lots of coal deposits and the region is known for its high temperatures.

Said Mdlalose: "It makes sense to resort to solar energy because the region is so hot. So why not use solar? Lights should be self-sustainable".

The town secretary said the local board was also fighting the water authority, the Zimbabwe National Water Authority (Zinwa), to regain control of the water account as it pushes for municipal status.

Zinwa also runs the town's sewer reticulation.

"Our water and sewer were taken over by Zinwa in 2007 when the water authority took over all local authorities' water accounts. Zinwa has agreed to handover the sewer reticulation system without the water account. We're saying we want both. Our ministry (Local Government, Public Works and National Housing) is engaging them over the issue on our behalf," said Mdlalose.

He said the local board was considering incorporation into the colliery concession area to augment its chances of attaining municipal status.

"We've already applied for municipal status and our parent ministry is also looking into that. As a local board we're looking into incorporation as opposed to amalgamation because amalgamation has a totally different legal position. Our plan is to incorporate the eight wards under the Hwange Colliery Mine into the local board. The ministry has done a lot. They sent a director here and they've engaged the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development

Source - Chronicle