Afghanistan

Lighting Up the Night in Feyzabad

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BADAKHSHAN, AFGHANISTAN | APRIL 6, 2011 – The Governor of Badakhshan Province and community leaders officially dedicated the successful installation of 60 solar-powered streetlights at a ribbon cutting event on March 30. Funded through USAID's Afghanistan Clean Energy Project, the streetlights, a first for the province, bring much needed light to a city not connected to the national power grid.

To launch the event, the Provincial Governor and Mayor of Feyzabad City walked the city streets as the new lights lit up one by one, and local shopkeepers and local pedestrians expressed their appreciation.

Illuminating a section of the recently completed Keshim-Feyzabad Highway, the solar lights will reduce Feyzabad Municipality's need for diesel fuel, which will greatly reduce costs and improve air quality. Improved lighting will also reduce crime, facilitate nighttime traffic, extend market hours along the roadway in the city, and improve security for the Feyzabad city population.

"Security will be improved and vehicle accidents will be prevented by the installation of these solar streetlights. This kind of project has a very good impact on Feyzabad City," said Governor of Badakhshan Dr. Shah Wali Adeeb.

Each streetlight illuminates an area of 225 square meters – enough to cover the street, sidewalks, and local shops. Each 30-watt LED light is powered by two solar panels that charge a large battery throughout the day. As the sun begins to fall, the lights turn themselves on automatically and remain on until sunrise the next day. When there is cloudy weather, the batteries have enough energy to power the lights for up to three days. All valuable components – panels, battery, and light – are located at the top of the 12 meter pole in order to deter vandalism and theft. The streetlights will allow shopkeepers to remain open longer into the night as well as discourage criminal activity.

Upon completion of the project, USAID will have installed 480 solar streetlights in Badakhshan, Bamyan, Hilmand, Kabul, Kandahar, Khost, Nuristan, Paktika, Uruzgan, and Wardak provinces. The program has seen unanimous gratitude expressed for these safe, secure, and stabilizing streetlight systems.

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For more information about USAID's programs, please visit: http://afghanistan.usaid.gov