Why Zimbabwe is turning to solar power

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Big cities across the world struggle with crime, and Zimbabwe’s Harare is no exception.

Naison Gumpo, a journalism student studying in the capital, knows this only too well.

“I was mugged right in the central business district and lost my jacket, wallet and passport. I long ago stopped walking in the city centre at night,” said Gumpo, recalling what has become a familiar story in this city of more than 3 million.

With streetlights going out in regular power blackouts, “Harare streets have become havens for muggings, even motorists are not safe,” he said.

According to a website that monitors crime in Harare, in January 2015, only a little over 20 percent of the city’s residents said they felt safe walking alone at night.

But an ambitious city lighting programme by the municipality could provide the relief many residents seek.

Harare City Council is installing solar-powered street lights that will illuminate the central business district at night, with plans to extend the project to other parts of the city.

The country is increasingly turning to the sun for its energy requirements, with the government hoping to build billion-dollar solar plants countrywide if it can find needed investment.

Read more at World Economic Forum

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