Solar lights to illuminate Mogadishu roads

By Adnan Hussein in Mogadishu

June 06, 2012

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Drilling and construction began on Monday (June 4th) to install solar-powered lampposts on Maka al-Mukarama Road as the first stage of plan to provide streetlights throughout the capital.

  • Workers lay the foundation for solar-powered streetlights along Maka al-Mukarama Road. [Adnan Hussein/Sabahi]

    Workers lay the foundation for solar-powered streetlights along Maka al-Mukarama Road. [Adnan Hussein/Sabahi]

The Norwegian government donated the solar lighting system and 50 lampposts to the Somali government and Benadir regional administration.

Mogadishu Municipality officials expect the initial stage of the project along the road, which runs from the airport to the presidential palace, to be completed by July 20th.

Mohamed Yusuf Osman, official spokesperson for the municipality, said the lampposts respond to a photovoltaic sensor, which illuminates the lamps as sunlight diminishes.

"We intend to exert all our efforts to do what we think is right and what serves our nation's interest so that the Somali capital can compete with Abu Dhabi and Doha, both of which use photovoltaic systems for street lighting," he said.

The project is part of the government's plan to revamp the country's infrastructure, which includes building schools and highway overpasses, Osman said.

Abdirashid Ahmed, a Somali working on the street lighting project, said the programme is being implemented by a local company that specialises in solar panels. He said about 90 people are working on Maka al-Mukarama Road, drilling small holes to install the lampposts.

Ahmed told Sabahi that several main roads and side streets will receive new lampposts and streetlights within the coming weeks, which will transform Mogadishu from a city of darkness to a city of light as it bids farewell to war, terror and atrocities.

Yusuf Omar, an engineer in Galkayo, told Sabahi that the street lighting project is very important, as it will put a stop to wasting public money spent on electricity bills.

Omar called on the mayor of Mogadishu to play an active role in rebuilding the electricity and water-purification plants in collaboration with the Transitional Federal Government's Ministry of Mining, Water and Petroleum to provide the best possible service to the people of Mogadishu.

Mogadishu does not yet have an electricity company that can provide electricity to offices, residences and businesses, which has forced the city to rely on the services of three private companies that use generators bought from Dubai.

Omar said one of the benefits of solar lights is that they operate year-round, independent of the electricity grid and unaffected by power outages. Moreover, solar energy is clean and will not emit air pollution.

The lampposts, which will last for about 15 years, require limited maintenance, except the regular cleaning of the solar panels as they get dusty, he said.

Osman said the municipality plans to restore the grace and beauty of Mogadishu, transforming it into a modern city with the streetlights and other projects.

"We have purchased millions of flowers to decorate streets, roads and public squares and we will work to educate society about preserving land set aside by the municipality for gardens," Osman said.

As the security situation improved over the past three months, Somali expatriates and displaced persons are returning to the city to rebuild their homes and construct new hotels.

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Reader's Comments

  • PWC
    May 17, 2013 @ 02:19:41PM

    Does anyone know the name of the Norwegian lighting company making these units?

  • Abumaajid
    June 18, 2012 @ 01:22:31AM

    This is a wonderful project and not only lights from the airport to Villa Somalia but to the other ghostly looking areas in the city such Afar Irdoodka, Via Roma, Via Egitto, Tarbuunka and many other vital places that can bring the city's pride and the TFG will get credit for that. On the other hand, I hope the funds donated by international community and other friendly governments should be used for that purpose, because we hear a lot of corruption and embezzlement that is going on and any person that is caught with that must be brought in front of the justice. Thanks Tarzan and the team

  • DICKSON KENGA
    June 10, 2012 @ 02:26:48AM

    May the Almighty God Restore the lost glory three fold!!

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