, NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 13 – The government has released Sh381.2 million to Kenya Power to rehabilitate Nairobi’s street lights and help promote a 24- hour economy in the city.
Kenya Power Managing Director Ben Chumo said the money is part of Sh953 million allocated by the National Treasury to rehabilitate existing street lights on the Kenya Power infrastructure.
He says the entire Nairobi street lighting will be funded by the government at a cost of Sh10 billion.
Nairobi City County has approximately 24,000 street lights and 7,300 public lighting masts which cover about 30 percent of the City; about 40 percent of these lights are not in operation.
The new infrastructure will cover the remaining 70 percent of the lights which consists of about over 12,959 public lighting masts and 54,029 street lighting points.
“Currently we are mapping areas where there are streetlights on Kenya Power infrastructure in conjunction with the County government officials, for the initial rehabilitation, as work continues to identify other street lighting that requires attention, ” said Chumo.
The MD noted that currently, business transactions and productive activities are restricted to daytime operations due to perceptions and experiences of insecurity associated with poor nighttime visibility.
Priority areas in the city as resources become available would be implemented in the areas where production and commerce takes place and workers live and commute to. These include Industrial Areas: Baba Dogo, Kariobangi Light Industries, and Industrial Area. SMEs and Jua Kali: Kamukunji; Gikomba. Business Centres: Central Business District, Buruburu, Westlands, Eastleigh, Kahawa West and Embakasi.
“Good lighting directly deters criminal activities by increasing the sense of personal safety as well as protection of property,” said Chumo adding that in order to achieve a 24-hour economy, there is need to provide adequate public lighting to industrial and residential areas, commercial centers, roads, railway and public transport facilities.
He said the government’s goal is to facilitate provision of sustainable, efficient and effective public lighting in all counties, adding that Nairobi City County was selected first as it contributes 55 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP).