By Aisha Gambo
Kaduna, March 1, 2021 The Kaduna Power Supply Company (KAPSCO) says it has begun installation of 1,382 solar-powered streetlights under its rural lighting initiative.
Miss Praise Agbe, the company’s Media and Communication Manager, told newsmen on Monday in Kaduna that the initiative was to improve security and health services.
According to her, it is also aimed at improving night time economy in rural and peri-urban areas of the state.
Agbe said that the power project being funded by the Kaduna State government, had installed over 700 streetlights, illuminating 21 kilometres in 2020.
According to her, locations were selected using criteria such as healthcare improvement, boosting night-time economy and roads with high traffic.
“What started out as the rural lighting initiative has expanded to include peri-urban locations, markets, motor parks and areas that boost night-time socio-economic activities.
“By installing functional streetlights on up to 1km of road leading to a model Primary Healthcare Centre (PHC) in each LGA, we can ensure safety and ease to locate the PHC at night.
” In addition to the solar systems that are being installed to power the PHCs, the streetlights will help improve the quality of healthcare delivery across Kaduna State.
“The installation of lights in night markets, social hubs, entertainment centres and transportation hubs, parks or garages would boost the economy.
“While the state’s owned road of high vehicular and pedestrian traffic are not left out”, she said.
Agbe said that the company had inaugurated some streetlights in several areas including Barnawa market, Airforce road, Karaye road, Malali, Ungwan Dosa, IBBI Dirkaniya, and Hakimi Road in November 2020.
She added that the company also inaugurated the streetlights in some major roads of Soba Local Government Area in December 2020.
She explained that the company had over the years faced challenges of vandals tempering with some of the streetlights and poor maintenance by host communities.
She said the company also executed the Kaduna Solar-for-Health programme aimed at improving access to healthcare by providing uninterrupted power supply to PHCs and maternity clinics across the state.
She stated that the programme had been expanded to include rural and isolated general hospitals across 255 wards in the state.
According to her, the objective of the programme is to increase access to healthcare, ensure one hospital in every ward and LGA had access to reliable power for 24hours.
She said that the programme also aimed at phasing-out the use of petrol and diesel generators that are hazardous to the environment with noise and pollution.
“The Phase II of the Kaduna Solar-for-Health started in 2019 and was completed in 2020 with 792 kilowatts of Solar System installed in 13 General Hospitals across the state.
“The 13 general hospitals are in Doka, Hunkuyi, Kaura, Kauru, Pambegua, Maigana, Turunku, Gwantu Kwoi.
“Others are General Hospitals include Idon, Kujama, Zonkwa and Fadan Kagoma”, she noted.
She said the agency had earmarked an additional 1.3Megawatts of Solar power to be installed across 255 wards of the state in the Phase III of the Solar for-Health programme.
Agbe said that despite the challenges faced by the KAPSCO in the year under review, Kaduna state had been recognised among leading states in Nigeria with Solar for Health programme in November 2020 by the Good Governance Group.
“KAPSCO will embark on project to supply electricity to the Eastern sector (Millennium city) of Kaduna State.
“We also intend complete the 1,382 streetlights across the State as well as the completion of Green Economic Zone (GEZ) project,” she said.