As municipal authorities strife to make the metropolis of Kumba, Meme division of the South West region a beautiful city in terms of infrastructural development, denizens are rather apprehensive over the poor lighting across the city.
The street lights that accompanied the construction of the stretch of road network from the Kumba Play Fair to the kumba Amusement Park Roundabout are no longer functional.
The construction of this stretch of road as part of the Buea-kumba road network ushered in the much needed beautification of part of the town. The government decided to compliment it with street lights on both sides of the road. At night, kumba was just like a paradise when these lights were switched on.
It is on record that, during the first week of the putting in place of these lights, people left neighbouring villages for kumba to take photographs which they published on social media.
Today, these lights managed by the Kumba City Council have become shadow of themselves. Apart from the epileptic manner in which they are operated, more often than not, they shine more during the day than at night. This has left giving the population questioning why they were erected in the first place.
As if this is not enough, many of the poles harbouring these street lights have been knocked down by speedy or reckless motorcycle riders. This has led to most of the portions along this stretch of the road in perpetual darkness. On a lucky day, lights are switched on at night.
It is said that, bikers who hit any of these poles down and caught pay penalties at the level of the State Counsel Chambers in kumba.
The funds are managed at the level of the chambers to replace the fallen poles. It is difficult to tell with exactitude the penalty paid for a pole but rough estimates puts it at over a million FCFA.
Successive State Counsels have come and gone since the lights were installed but none of them have given account of the funds collected in replacement of broken poles.
Some of the poles knocked down are lying on the ground while many have disappeared and no one can tell where they have been kept. The situation is more complicated with live electricity cables on the pedestrians track which is now a big risk to the population.
At a certain council session, councillors of the Kumba City Council struggled to manage the funds paid as fines. This did not work out and such penalties continued to be received at the State Counsel’s chambers in Kumba while the council’s sole responsibility is to ensure the lights are put on and off.
Kumba city dwellers are pleading with the powers that be to fully step in and redress the situation if they want kumba to be a beautiful city.