New streetlights improve safety and security in a district center
19 DECEMBER 2011 | WARDAK, AFGHANISTAN
The installation of 26 new solar streetlights in Sayed Abad’s district center enables people to move around safely after dark and permits shopkeepers to keep their stores open later at night.
Sayed Abad in Wardak Province is in the southern district, bordering Logar and Ghazni provinces. The district center is home to about 2,000 individuals of both Pashtun and Tajik ethnicities. The community recognized the need for increased lighting to make the district government compound and local bazaar safer at night.
Working with the district governor, USAID oversaw the installation of 26 new solar-powered streetlights in and around the district center and government compound, the local bazaar, and along the surrounding roadways.
Zularistan, an Afghan solar company, installed the streetlights and also provided on-the-job training for two local men on how to turn them on and off, and how to identify and replace damaged parts.
Each of the streetlights has a 60 watt photovoltaic solar panel, an encased high-efficiency LED lamp, a deep-cycle battery, a timer, and a pole. The streetlights are capable of providing light all night long, even after several consecutive cloudy days.
The increased lighting has made securing the area at nighttime much easier and safer for security forces patrolling the area. One policeman, Mahmood, remarked, “In the past, we’d patrol with the help of a flashlight at night, but now it’s much easier.”
For both residents and shopkeepers in the local bazaar, the new streetlights are a boon. They enable people to move around safely after dark and permit shopkeepers to keep their stores open later in the evening. Hameedullah, a resident of the district center, expresses the feelings of many of his neighbors, “Since the completion of this project, there’s been a positive change in our daily lives. Now we can work outside till late in a well-lit environment. It’s also improved security a lot.”
Last updated: January 20, 2015