Non functional street lights in Mbarara Municipality have become a great concern to the business community and residents.
Both the residents and members of the business community want the municipality to fix the street lights or replace them with new ones.
Some of the streets with faulty street lights include Markhan Singh, Mbarara High Street, Mbaguta street,Calvary road and Rubiri road.
Obed Akandwanaho, a resident Rubiri cell in Nyamityobora division, says the absence of the street lights provides a safe haven for the criminals who erect road blocks at night and start harassing the locals. He further revealed that there is need for the authorities to start repairing the lights which have not been functional for over five years.
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Slyvia Kyarikunda does street vending at night. She says her work makes her a soft target for the robbers. She says that the authorities should repair street lights to safeguard people's lives.
Christmas Katwire, a businessman along Markhan Singh Street told URN that the absence of street lights forces them to close early. He says that the Municipal authorities only become serious on issues of revenue collection but do not mind about the conditions in which the taxpayers operate.
Robert Mugabe Kakyebezi, the Mbarara Municipality mayor says the lights have been off for long and the concerns of the locals and business community are a wake-up call. Kakyebezi says the Municipal council has allocated money for the procurement of the street lights.
He however did not reveal how much was budgeted for the street lighting project.
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He further revealed that some of the roads are being worked on under the Uganda Support to infrastructural development project and will be fitted with solar street lights.
He says that he is optimistic that the project will change the face of Mbarara town.