Improving Public Lighting for Safer Streets
In late May 2023, the “Greater Goma” project unveiled itself, and public lighting illuminated the streets in the Kyeshero district for the first time, facilitating safer human connections in the area after dark. The project soon moved on to nearby neighborhoods of Kasika, Mabanga-Nord, Nyabushongo, and Kiziba II (Turunga), bringing security and peace of mind to the residents of these areas.
In Kasika, the joy of the local community in response to the arrival of street lamps was palpable. “Life has changed,” remarked Mr. Katengo Luanda Jean-Chrysostome, head of the aforestated area, when asked about the benefits of the project, initiated as a practical response to the demands of the local population.
As light and joy overflowed onto the streets, Goma revealed its new face. “We’ve been through some difficult times in our neighborhood. Not a night went by without theft or break-ins,” commented a spokesperson for the Kasika local authority, who welcomed the socio-economic impact of the lighting. In the illuminated avenues, the clocks no longer stop ticking at sundown. The streets come alive with people, especially women shopkeepers.
A woman benefiting from the public lighting in the Mabanga-Nord neighborhood said: “You find us here because things are different. Before, we used to come home at 7 pm and would have to carry torches to see the danger from afar and try to avoid it”. Fortunately, this is now a thing of the past. Chantal, another resident of Mabanga-Nord, can sell her products and even increase her sales until after 9 pm, which was unthinkable previously.
Thanks to the Greater Goma project, which spanned nine months from September 2022 to May 2023, numerous main thoroughfares and side streets in Goma are now equipped with public lighting.
Overall, the project erected 800+ street lamps covering a network of more than 40 km, providing a safer environment for more than 893,000 people in Goma.