Residents are demanding the repair of non-functional solar street
lights in Gulu City citing insecurity.
130 solar street lights have broken down for close to two years
and have not been repaired posing fears among road users, especially during
night hours. These are part of the 450 solar street lights installed
under the 3.2 billion shillings project Uganda Support to Municipal
Some of the malfunctioned solar streets lights are located along Ring Road,
Walter Opwonya Road, Odur Min Odyek Road, Cemetery Road, Acholi Lane,
Commercial Road and Lumumba Avenue among others.
Alex Okoya, the Founder Street Samaritans Organization says the town is covered
in darkness at night drawing complaints from residents and members of the
business community. He adds that the persistent blackout in the City at night
has led to insecurity, poor service delivery, and fear and also affected the
beauty of the City, especially at night.
//Cue in: ‘’so we wrote…
Cue out: …a dark town.’’//
He noted that through the petition they are reminding the Gulu City authorities
to know that over 60% of the solar street lights are damaged and need immediate
Through the petition letter, they demanded that the Gulu City authorities
repair the broken solar street lights within 14 days effective Monday lest they
will take it to the streets to protest in demand for their rights as citizens
//Cue in: ‘’we are not…
Cue out: …Gulu is first.’’//
Moses Opio, a motorcyclist in Gulu City says the lack of security lights has
given rise to iron bar hitmen and escalated crime rates in the area. He says
that many of them have abandoned working at night hours, although it is the
time they get more customers and money.
The Gulu Resident City Commissioner, Denis Odongpiny Odwong says that
the petition is timely and would task the city authorities to take swift
actions to respond since the security team are also finding it hard to carry
out operations in dark spots.
Gulu City Assistant Engineer in charge of Electricity, Christopher Lukwiya
attributed the damage of the street lights to heavy rains, vandalism and strong
winds among others.
He disclosed that the City has earmarked 50 million shillings for repairing the
solar street lights.
Lukwiya notes that works are yet to commence because they lack
equipment like crane lifter, generator and welding plant.
Earlier on, residents of Gulu City raised concerns over the broken solar street
lights saying this is posing insecurity at night by aiding criminal activities.
Robert Okwonga, the LCI Chairperson of Goans Quarters in Bardege -Layibi Division
revealed that criminals are taking advantage of the dark spots to waylay and
rob their victims.
Emmy Daniel Ojara is a young journalist and has been practicing since 2013, during which he covered land rights violation in the contested Apaa and Lakang in Amuru as his first take ups while at Gulu Fm, Favor Fm and later Paidha Fm and Speak Fm where he is still attached.
Human rights abuses and denied access to land by security and government agencies has been the major aftermath of the contest over the lands. The underprivileged such as women, children and the elderly faced challenges in accessing soc