It baffles me how I come across faulty street lights almost each and every day in my country Ghana. This stimulates my interest in knowing why we even need street lights in our communities. Why is it that whenever there is a major road construction in the country, street lights are planted in the middle or sides of the road?
My rising curiosity led me to talk to some day to day users of our roads, and a little research on street lights. Permit me to share a little with you.
Wikipedia defined street light as a raised source of light on the edge of a road or a path.
Merriam Webster also defined street light as a light usually mounted on a pole and constituting one of a series spaced at intervals along a public street or highway.
Importance of Street Lighting
Street lighting is an essential public service that provides a safer environment at night time to commuters as well as pedestrians. Proper use of street lighting can be considered as a protective method which provides economic and social benefits to the people including:
Elimination in night time accidents and economic loss
Aid to police protection and enhanced sense of personal security
Facilitation of smooth traffic flow
Promotion of business activities and the use of public interactions during the night hours.
Let me not bore you with the never ending functions of streetlights.
We have seen politicians use streetlights as major campaign message in various communities anytime election is due. We cannot deny the fact that they fulfill their promises when voted into power. YES! Most of the time they give us these street lights when we give them our votes, being it solar powered or whatever.
What I am more concerned about as a citizen of this country is how these streetlights seem to work for some few months, then suddenly go off. If you are reading this I’m sure you have experienced this in the community you find yourself here in Ghana.
I took a stroll down the streets of Osu, from the Ghana Institute of Journalism where i have my education, to the Ghana Revenue Authority right opposite the Ghana Police Headquarters. Then from the same Ghana Institute of Journalism through to the road that leads to Parliament House. All these roads once had actively functioning street lights but not anymore. It’s been months now and no attempt has been made to fix this.
I again took a stroll on the streets of Kwashieman right on the stretch of the N1 Highway through to Nyamekye. And again the once functioning street lights are no more functioning. We even have a situation on that same N1 Highway Kwashieman stretch where a Street Light Pole has fallen.
Residents have been able to move it from the road and placed it on a pedestrian side of the road. However, it’s been months now and no attempt has been made by authorities to ascertain why that street pole is not even there in the first place, not to talk of fixing it.
So I ask where our authorities are. Where are our MCE’s, assembly men, MPs who are supposed to look out for their communities?
Why do we have street lights not functioning for months and it’s as if no one has noticed it?
What is the underlining problem behind our faulty street lights? Is it not up to standard?
We were convinced in this country that due to the excessive sunshine here, Solar Powered street lights will be more effective for us. So why are we still having faulty solar powered street lights?
Why do we even have to allow darkness on our streets for months before we make efforts to fix them? Why does it not even last after we fix them? Why do we keep having recurring street lighting problems in this country?
Who is being paid but failing to perform his or her duty? How do we allow a major highway like the N1 Highway to be in darkness for months because of a malfunctioning street light?
There is definitely more questions to ask. Mother Ghana is too old to be facing basic problems like street lighting. Let’s fix our country. We need an uninterruptible Street Lighting System now.
By Prince Koomson