THE Victoria Falls Municipality has purchased 100 solar-powered street lights to be installed in the town, as the local authority goes green as a way to cushion its residents against intermittent power cuts.
By Nokuthaba Dlamini
For the past few months, council had put three solar lights for sampling from different suppliers.
Town clerk Ronnie Dube said the solar street lights cost $250 000 including installation and will be rolled out before year-end.
“They are going to be put in Mkhosana, Chinotimba, part of central business together with traffic lighting. We opted for supplier who can give us better service in the event of break downs but for now, we cannot reveal the name,” he said.
“ In the near future, we want to go green completely as a town and we believe that will be a success as long as residents pay their bills and it will help us reduce tariffs charges.”
Dube said they have also purchased pre-paid water meters that will help residents to pay their debts without having to accuse council of estimating figures.
“We have done the selection and very soon we will be appointing the contractor to come on ground and install them. We want to roll out all those two projects before the year end and they will also be sampled in the entire town.
“It is an expensive project but we have to do it because it is an inevitable technology that is there and it is going to assist us in our debt collection strategy and avoid ballooning debts which is sitting at over $9 million,” he said.
Dube added the advanced pre-paid meters will help them calculate and dictate non-revenue water leakage and be able to attend to it effectively.
Meanwhile, parts of Victoria Falls town have been experiencing erratic power supplies since last month after one of its transformers developed a technical fault.
Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC) spokesperson Fullard Gwasira confirmed the energy crisis yesterday, saying foreign currency shortages had frustrated efforts to import the transformer.
“One of our transformers had a break down after it blew for over three weeks ago, but the challenge we are facing is that we do not have forex. Such equipment are ordered abroad at a cost of $30 000 and we don’t have that money in forex form,” he said.
“We are trying by all means to solve the situation, but it comes back to the issue of finding enough forex that will also include transportation.
“This is a tourist resort and it is a mandate that we offer quality service but it is beyond us and when electricity goes, the whole town gets affected. It has nothing to do with prioritising one over the other but we will be trying to balance the load.”
Gwasira said the faulty transformer only affected Victoria Falls town.