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Masaka City Leadership Rejects Streetlights Citing Poor Quality :: Uganda Radionetwork
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Masaka City Leadership Rejects Streetlights Citing Poor Quality

According to Namayanja, the lights do not meet the quality specifications in the contract documents and therefore cannot produce the preferred light to serve the intended purpose. She says that compared to other existing solar-powered streetlights that were earlier installed in the city, the new ones produce very low light, yet they are expected to be brighter.
07 Mar 2023 09:58
Masaka City Mayor Florence Namayanja, attending a Roads Committee session. the committee demands a special inquest in the management of public assets in the area
Masaka City council leadership has rejected the new solar-powered streetlights that are being installed in the area over quality concerns. The city Roads and Technical Works Sectoral committee has rejected the solar lights that were being installed along Broadway road, which runs from Nyendo through Masaka town to the Masaka-Mbarara bypass. 

Installation of the street lighting system is part of the project for the major repair of the 4.8 kilometers road by Chinese firm Chongquin International Corporation Limited valued at Shillings 35.9 billion. But the project inspection report by the Roads and Technical Works committee chaired by City Mayor, Florence Namayanja, has condemned the solar lights on grounds that they don’t pass the standard quality test. 

According to Namayanja, the lights do not meet the quality specifications in the contract documents and therefore cannot produce the preferred light to serve the intended purpose. She says that compared to other existing solar-powered streetlights that were earlier installed in the city, the new ones produce very low light, yet they are expected to be brighter.

She says that the committee has established that instead of the 60 watts bulbs, the contractor was stealthily installing 30 watts bulbs and 25-voltage batteries, which is contrary to the contract terms.

“The core purpose of these lights is to enhance the safety of the road users and enable our people to extend business working hours. But the lights being installed cannot serve that purpose and therefore rejected,” the report reads in part. 

The committee has petitioned the Uganda National Roads Authority-UNRA, as the project supervisor demanding that the contractor be compelled to stop the installation works and remove the lights so far fixed until the standard specifications are observed.    

Namayanja explains that the new lights are replacing the hydro-powered street lighting system, which the city had earlier installed on the same road, arguing that they can’t tolerate anything that is below the old system.

She warns that as leaders, they may be prompted to mobilize the residents to pull down the lights should the contractor insist on installing the low-quality system. Vincent Kasumba, the President of Masaka City Development Forum-CDF, which is a platform of stakeholders that links the leadership and the local community also observed that compared to similar street lighting systems in the area, the space between poles of the new lights is too wide.

He also prefers that the contractor redoes the works such that the lights are placed in a standard radius to serve their purpose. The administrators of  Chongquin International Corporation Limited have declined to comment on the quality of their work. 

But Steven Kizza, the zonal manager for Masaka station Uganda National Roads Authority-UNRA confirms receiving the protest letter from the city leadership, saying they are going to conduct an independent inspection and verify the complaints. He says that they will engage the contractor to see how they can deliver the project to the satisfaction of the beneficiaries.         

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