The repair of non-functional solar street lights within Gulu City has been delayed by the procurement of essential components.
Gulu City council authorities had earmarked 50 million shillings in June to start off a phased repair of about 50 out of close to 300 defective street lights in Pece-Laroo and Bardege-Layibi divisions. The repair works were to kick off last month after the procurement of essential components by a service provider contracted by the city council.
But Isiah Tumwesigye, the Gulu City Council Clerk says that the works have been delayed due to the absence of some key components for the street lights.
He says the contractor was unable to find specific batteries needed for the street lights in the local markets and has opted to source them outside the country. The specific batteries needed are 100Ah Gel and 200Ah AGM models.
Christopher Balmoi Omara, Gulu City Council Engineer acknowledged that repair works on the solar street lights had not yet commenced as they wait for the procurement of other key components.
Balmoi also noted that the contractor was unable to find solar charge controllers in the country that needed to be installed adding that they are being sourced from outside Uganda.
According to Balmoi, structural repair works have already been undertaken on some of the street lights that were loosely fitted and note that all they are waiting for is for fitting of broken components.
“I am optimistic the missing components will be available in the next two weeks and works will immediately commence,” He says.
He notes that they will embark on fitting broken components on 40 selected street lights in the first phase of the repair exercise while the rest will be undertaken once funds are availed.
The city council will use 40 million shillings in the repair works, part of the money allocated under the Uganda Road fund according to Balmoi.
The defective street lights, whose components according to engineers had already surpassed their lifespan were installed under the Uganda Support to Municipal Infrastructural Development project funded by World Bank.
The broken street lights are along Ring road, Cemetery Road, Lumumba Avenue, Walter Opwonya road, parts of Acholi road, Jomo Kenyatta Road, KampalaGulu Highway, and Muroni road among others.