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Kenya Power tenders for Sh10bn street lighting

Kenya Power managing director Ben Chumo:
Kenya Power managing director Ben Chumo: "Good lighting directly deters criminal activities by increasing the sense of personal safety as well as protection of property." PHOTO | FILE 

Kenya Power will Tuesday begin the search for suppliers of street lighting material, bringing a Sh10 billion project to light up Nairobi closer to reality.

The electricity distributor plans to install 54,029 street lights in several parts of the city. It has already received the first tranche of Sh381.2 million from the Treasury to kickstart the project.

“Currently, business transactions and productive activities are restricted mainly to daytime operations owing to perceptions and experiences of insecurity and limitations of night-time visibility,” an advert appearing in Tuesday’s dailies states in part.

“The government’s goal is to facilitate provision of sustainable, efficient and effective public lighting in all the 47 counties beginning with Nairobi.”

The industrial zones that will benefit from the project include Baba Dogo, Kariobangi Light Industries and Industrial Area.

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Kamukunji and Gikomba as well as the central business district and Westlands will also be lit up, as will residents of Eastleigh, Kahawa West, Buruburu and Embakasi neighbourhoods.

“Good lighting directly deters criminal activities by increasing the sense of personal safety as well as protection of property,” Ben Chumo, the Kenya Power managing director said a week ago when the plan was first made public.

Nairobi, which is home to about four million people, has approximately 24,000 street lights and 7,300 public lighting masts covering 30 per cent of the city, according to the power firm.

Kenya Power, however, says that about 9,600 of these lights don’t work, revealing that it will cost approximately Sh953 million to repair them.

An additional Sh9.84 billion has been budgeted to install 12,959 new public lighting masts and 54,029 street lights.

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