Energy Ministry to introduce hi-tech street lights on roads

Non-functioning streets at night have gradually become a feature of the many roads in the capital.

During the day, many ceremonial streets within Accra seem complete with road markings, road signs and street lights. But at night, while some streets are sparsely lit, others are plunged into total darkness as the beautifully mounted street lights do not perform their role.

Some street lights have hanging bulbs and others are without bulbs, while some others have fallen down or have been uprooted.

Streets such as the Accra-Tema Beach Road, the N1 Highway, the Accra-Tema Motorway and the Accra-Legon Road, just to name a few, have erected street lights dotted along them, some of which do not work.

While municipal assemblies believe the maintenance of these, especially those along ceremonial streets, are the sole role of the Energy Ministry, the Ministry begs to differ.

The Deputy Director in charge of Power Distribution, Sulemana Abubakari, explains to Citi News’ that “street lighting, just like any infrastructure, requires maintenance.

That maintenance could be periodic ones – occasional checks to see that they are operating or functioning well. Unfortunately, because that is not sustained, even when you have new infrastructure put up, you find that in just a few months after those infrastructure have been installed, they go down; they don’t work”

“This is what I suggest that Assemblies do: to outsource these to third-party contractors and then ensure that there are regular maintenances, at least on a quarterly basis. That way, the cost for these would not be perhaps as prohibitive as when these infrastructures have been left for long time unserved,” he added.

But the Ministry of Energy says this situation will soon become a thing of the past as it is about to roll out a technology-driven initiative that will affect streetlights along major streets in the capital.

“The good news for the Accra-Tema Beach Road is that street lighting infrastructure works on these roads have recently been awarded to a group of 3 major, 10 key contractors to be executed on ten key basis. So Accra has been zoned into about 3 regions for the purposes of this project. So they are going to install what I would call smart or intelligent street lighting systems – intelligent because the street lighting infrastructure, hitherto, we didn’t have a feedback when infrastructure goes down. Now we want to incorporate a mechanism that informs the operators of such facilities that a stretch is down, or a stretch is broken or a stretch is vandalised; so that we can take immediate remedial actions to continue to ensure that these facilities continue to serve us better than they do now,” Mr Abubakari revealed.

“So if you take all the ceremonial streets, from the Independence Avenue, the Beach Road all the way to the Jamestown area; take from the Independence Square towards Tetteh Quarshie and beyond towards Madina; all roads around and towards LaDMA – let me put it this way, all the major Municipalities, as far as Accra is concerned, the major ones within the Central Business District of Accra, would be covered,” he added.