By Innocent Atuganyira

MASINDI: The absence of street lights has been cited one of the factors crippling the economic development of Masindi Municipality in Masindi district.

Masindi town has not had street lights for years after the municipal leadership installed a few solar lights at selected points in the municipality that are not effectively functioning, which the residents say has left the area in darkness and insecure on top of greatly affecting their businesses.

Brian Atugonza, a businessman along Market Street says because of the darkness his business is makes loses because he closes it early.

‘’I don’t operate beyond 9pm due to darkness, we have only three solar street lights along the market street and they are distant apart,’’ he said.

Atugonza also says that there is a need to install street lights on all streets to boost the business in the towns.

Emmy Bagonza, another residents says that the lack of enough street lights in the town has increased insecurity in the area since wrongdoers take advantage of the darkness to commit crimes including robbing people of their valuables.

According to Bagonza, there is a need to stall street lights especially on busy streets to boost business and reduce crimes in the town.

‘’Due to the lack of streetlights in the town, most people fear moving at night, and this has affected business in the town. Leaders should intervene and ensure the problem is solved,’’ he said.

Harriet Atuhairwe, a resident of Masindi town told she recently lost a mobile phone while heading to Masindi hospital at night after someone snatched it from her.

‘’My friend also lost his bag when she had retired from her mobile money point in town, and the main cause is darkness. Leaders should address this problem otherwise we shall continue losing our property,’’ she said.

The mayor Masindi Municipal Ronald Kyomuhendo Businge admits that lack of street lights is a big problem in Masindi town revealing that they asked the government to include Masindi municipality among the beneficiaries of the Municipal Infrastructure Development (USMID) program in order to address the problem.

He however says they are yet to get a response on the matter.

Kyomuhendo says that the matter is being followed up by Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja and he is optimistic it will be addressed.

He has advised the dwellers to install security lights on their houses in the meantime as they wait for installation of street lights in town.

While in Masindi early this year, premier Nabbanja assured the leaders that Masindi municipality would be included under USMID program.

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